Video buffering often turns streaming content online into a nightmare. We’ve all experienced this: you may have the fastest Internet connection and the most powerful hardware, yet sometimes streaming won’t work.
Fortunately, MIT researchers recently came up with a brilliant solution to reduce video buffering using artificial intelligence algorithms.
Pensieve is an AI system that reduces video buffering by 30%
Meet Pensieve, MIT’s neural network AI that can optimize your bit rate so as to reduce video buffering. Streaming services use Adaptive BitRate algorithms to decide which video quality is best for you depending on your network conditions.
Unlike regular ABR algorithms that use inaccurate system models, the ABR algorithms used by this tool are generated using thorough observations of the resulting performance of past decisions across a large number of video streaming experiments.
In other words, Pensieve analyzes the video quality and network conditions over time in order to identify the best bit rate algorithm patterns. The software will then use this information to automatically adjust video quality when you’re streaming video.
Here’s how researchers describe Pensieve:
We propose Pensieve, a system that generates ABR algorithms using reinforcement learning (RL). Pensieve trains a neural network model that selects bitrates for future video chunks based on observations collected by client video players. Pensieve does not rely on pre-programmed models or assumptions about the environment. Instead,it learns to make ABR decisions solely through observations of the resulting performance of past decisions. As a result, Pensieve automatically learns ABR algorithms that adapt to a wide range of environments […]
Tests revealed that Pensieve delivered 10-25% better Quality of Experience and reduced buffering by 10-30%. Researchers are convinced that this AI system can improve the quality of very high bit rate applications, including virtual reality.
For the time being, Pensieve is still work in progress. Researchers are planning to carry out further tests and experiments in order to perfect this AI system.
For more information about Pensieve, check out the video below and read the research paper here.
AI-based media players are coming
Our two cents is that developers will use Pensieve to create new media players. These tools will be powerful enough to virtually eliminate video buffering.
We expect the next gen AI-powered media players to become available in about two years’ time.
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