The ABC built a TV set in the foyer of the John Curtin School of Medial Research. This building looks like something from science fiction normally, with swept windows and labs visible through glass walls. It looked like a move set with a stage and tiered seating assembled, along with lights and cameras. It is curious why this was done in the foyer, when there is a perfectly usable lecture theater in the building. But we did provide entertainment for the people lunching in the adjacent Vanilla Bean Cafe.
As I have been selected to ask the panel the first question:
"The Internet provides an efficient form of communication, but will it change who we are? By having all communication mediated by a computer, do we risk becoming more like a computer and less like people?".This was my second attempt at a question, as the organizers did not like the first version which was specifically about e-learning making people less human.
Liesl Capper-Beilby answered, saying that she thought that robots would become more human, rather than people less so. I thought that a glib answer, but the questions was discussed in more depth later. I asked a follow up later about e-learning, asking if we could teach social skills to scientists and engineers to make them better communicators and leaders.
The recording was in two phases, the first was for the broadcast part of the program and the second was extra material for online streaming. The first part had an introduction from the chair, panel discussion, two recorded segments and some vetted questions from the studio audience. The second part had un-vetted audience questions.
What was interesting was how structured the process was, even though the event was being recorded and would be edited later. I have practiced being a camera operator and director for a live studio broadcast with three cameras, when learning video production at CIT. The ABC used much the same traditional approach. We were not permitted to sit down until shortly before the recording was to commence. There was a timed countdown to the second at the start and at the end. The audience could not move from their designated seats during the whole session and there were no breaks.
It seems to me that the format makes for professional looking, but dull TV. Perhaps a format like a GovCamp is needed, which is more free flowing. This could have robot cameras with no operators, so a couple of people could record multiple parallel sessions. This would require rooms specially set up for TV, but that could be done in a TEAL room (such as at the Inspire Centre where GovCamp is being held), which is like a TV studio, in that it has a large flat floor and high ceiling, allowing space for cameras and lights.