29 Jun Google TV’s Shalini Govil-Pai to Receive DEG’s 2023 Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology
Above: The award inspired by inventor and actor Hedy Lamarr will be presented to Google TV’s Shalini Govil-Pai (l.) in 2023.
Dean Elizabeth Daley of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts to Receive Hedy Lamarr Inspiration Award
LOS ANGELES (June 29, 2023) – DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group will present Shalini Govil-Pai, VP and General Manager of TV Platforms at Google, with the 2023 Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology. In its seventh year, the Hedy Lamarr Award recognizes female executives in the fields of entertainment and technology who have made a significant contribution to the industry.
Govil-Pai drove the creation of Google TV from the ground up, working to bring the best of Google – from Search, to Assistant, YouTube, Play and Nest – together to create a transformative experience for users. She now leads a team of more than 300 engineers, product managers, UX designers, partnership managers, and others – a business within Google – and is a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, especially of women, as well as a respected international speaker and author on digital production trends. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has called Google TV “one of the best products Google has ever made.”
“I am thrilled that the Hedy Lamarr Innovation Award for 2023 will recognize Shalini Govil-Pai of Google, who is leading the way in providing consumers with smooth, intuitive, convenient and attractive user experiences to connect with all the content they want, when and where they want it,” said DEG President & CEO Amy Jo Smith. “There is no more important issue to the future of in-home entertainment.”
At the same time, the Hedy Lamarr Inspiration Award will be presented to Dean Elizabeth Daley of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, for her pioneering adoption of cutting-edge technology into curriculum and practice. Daley is the longest serving Dean at USC, where she has led the growth and technological transformation of what has been ranked as one of the most successful and important film and media arts programs in the world. As part of the digital transition in the School of Cinematic Arts, Dean Daley founded the Entertainment Technology Center @ USC in the early 1990s to foster collaboration between academics, students and the media and entertainment industry.
The Inspiration Award was created this year by the Hedy Lamarr Awards judging panel to recognize Dean Daley’s long influence on the next generation of content creators. Moving forward it will be presented only in those years when the judges encounter a candidate who demonstrates the highest level of technological leadership, generosity of talent and commitment to the growth of budding storytellers and technologists.
The 2023 Hedy Lamarr Achievement Award for Emerging Leaders in Entertainment Technology, honoring a female college student whose studies in the fields of entertainment and technology have shown exceptional promise, will be presented to two students for 2023: Lily Chen (far left), an undergraduate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in Mathematics with Computer Science; and Memphis Grace MacPherson, an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California who is majoring in Art, Technology, and the Business of Innovation in the Iovine Young Academy, with a minor in Themed Entertainment in the School of Cinematic Arts. To encourage and enable these initiative-taking students to pursue opportunities in entertainment technology, each will receive a financial award to continue her education.
UCLA student Ingrid Lee, a Computer Science and Engineering major with a Theatre minor, is recognized as a Finalist for the Award.
“The judging panel was just blown away by the accomplishments of Dean Daley,” Smith said. “She can only be called visionary and the influence she has exerted on decades of aspiring content creators makes her one of the very most impactful people working in entertainment technology globally. It is because of leaders like her that we have an ever-growing pool of highly qualified student applicants for the Hedy Lamarr Award. Congratulations to Dean Daley and to our 2023 student stars, Grace MacPherson, and Lily Chen, who are so talented and already well on their way to careers in entertainment technology.”
“I am pleased and excited to accept the Hedy Lamarr Innovation Award from DEG,” said Govil-Pai. “My career has been dedicated to using technology to help storytellers connect with audiences and I am honored to accept this recognition of the role technology plays in telling our stories, and the role women play in technology.”
The awards will be presented during an in-person event in Los Angeles on November 7, near the anniversary of Lamarr’s birth (November 9, 1914).
Austrian American actor Lamarr was a Hollywood legend who is best known for her roles in film classics including Samson and Delilah, The Strange Woman and Tortilla Flat. She was also a lifelong inventor whose innovative work included pioneering “frequency hopping,” which became the foundation for spread spectrum technology. Conceived by Lamarr and composer George Antheil for radio guidance systems and patented in 1942, this highly secure technology resists interference and dropout, and is used today for a variety of cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications.
To honor Lamarr, the Innovation Award seeks to recognize and commemorate female industry leaders who have made a similar impact in the field of entertainment technology. Past honorees include Geena Davis, Founder and Chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; Nonny de la Peña, CEO of Emblematic Group; Dean Willow Bay of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; SaraDeWitt,VP of PBS KIDS Digital; Poppy Crum, Former Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories, and Paulette Pantoja, Founder & CEO of Blu Digital Group.
To determine the award winners, DEG enlisted industry leaders including members of its Canon Club Advisory Board, which comprises a cross-section of senior executives representing the entertainment, technology, IT, and consumer electronics industries. Among other factors, the judging panel based its decisions on the candidates’ embodiment of the following principles: Innovation, Engagement and Excellence.
About Shalini Govil-Pai
Shalini Govil-Pai oversees Google TV, which is a smart TV interface – built into TVs or accessed through a dongle like Google’s Chromecast – that puts everything viewers want to watch across all streaming services in one place, cutting down on browsing time and helping find the best content without jumping from app to app. The New York Times dubbed Chromecast “The Best Media Streaming Device,” and Tom’s Guide said, “It’s the things only Google can bring that make this one of the best smart streaming devices you can buy, period.” There are more than 150 million Android TV OS monthly active devices – up 36 percent year over year, making it one of the fastest growing TV operating systems.
Prior to Google TV, Govil-Pai was a Senior Director with YouTube in charge of helping creators distribute and get mindshare for their videos. Over the seven years she worked there, she rapidly expanded the amount of content that YouTube carried, and the platform is now frequented by over 2 billion users. Govil-Pai also joined Pixar when it was only 50 employees and served as a Technical Director on Toy Story and A Bug’s Life.
About Dean Elizabeth Daley
During her three-decade tenure leading USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, Dean Elizabeth Daley led the conversion from film capture to digital cameras as well as pioneering digital editorial concepts. Her partnership with major industry providers including Avid, Epic Games, IMAC, Sony and Unity have provided the industry with important insights into the needs and creative intent of the next generation of content creators.
As part of her leadership of the digital transition, Dean Daley founded the Entertainment Technology Center @ USC in the early 1990’s to foster collaboration between academics, students and the media and entertainment industry. As interactive media became an important alternative entertainment format, Dean Daley founded the Interactive Media Division at the school, which has grown to be the largest and most sophisticated game design and engineering program in the country, typically ranked first in the world.
About Lily Chen
MIT student Lily Chen’s goal is to earn a PhD in cryptography or AI, then put the degree to use building security solutions for film production, game development, and localization. She is currently studying natural language processing, with academic research experience she hopes to apply to subtitle generation, personalized user experience and enhanced cyber security.
Inspired by her grandfather’s battle with diabetic retinopathy (DR), she developed a deep learning algorithm for automated multi-class diagnosis for DR, which was accepted to the Journal of Medical Imaging and Case Reports. She also has won awards for algorithmic work in the cryptosecurity space.
About Memphis Grace MacPherson
For much of her life, USC undergraduate Grace MacPherson has been interested in using technology to blend reality and stories, turning viewers into characters. She has created interactive experiences for museums and started her own company creating company logos in augmented reality (AR).
MacPherson is currently exploring the intersection of live entertainment experiences and technology, particularly near-field communication (NFC). Her capstone project will use NFC in a hybrid immersive art experience and themed entertainment attraction using art, story, and advanced technology to immerse audiences within a country’s culture and history.
CONTACT: For more information please email Bekah Sturm | firstname.lastname@example.org
For sponsorship opportunitities for the Hedy Lamarr Awards or other DEG events, please email Andi Elliott (Andi@degonline.org).
DEG advocates and promotes entertainment platforms, products and distribution channels that support the movie, television, music, consumer electronics and IT industries.
DEG membership is comprised of: 360 Solutions, A+E Networks, Altman Solon, Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services, AMC Networks, AMC Theatres, Anuvu, Azure, BB Media, BBC Americas, BIGtoken, bitMAX, BLINTN, Blu Digital Group, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Cineverse, Cinelytic, Circana, Comcast, Deep Media, Deepdub, Deloitte, Deluxe Digital Studios, Disney+, Dolby Laboratories, Edg.io, ESPN+, Fabric, Fandango/Vudu, FilmRise, Fox Entertainment Global, GfK Entertainment, Giant Worldwide, Google, HDMI, IMAX, Intel, Irdeto, IRIS.TV, IYUNO, LG Electronics, Lionsgate Entertainment, Looper Insights, Mediagenix, MGM Studios, Microsoft, Movies Anywhere, NAGRA, NexSpec, Omdia, Paramount Global, Paramount Home Entertainment, PBS Distribution, Peacock, Pixelogic, Pixelworks, Plex, Premiere Digital, Reelgood, Respeecher, Rightsline, Row8, Samsung Electronics, Screen Engine/ASI, The Sherlock Company, Shout Factory, SmithGeiger, Sonopress, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Spherex, STARZ, Synamedia, Technicolor, TiVo, Trusted Partner Network, Tubi, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Veritone, Verizon Business Group, Visual Data, Vizio, VSYN+, Vubiquity, Warner Bros. Discovery, Whip Media, Wondrium, XL8, Xperi, and ZOO Digital.