This used to be the home page of, the group who developed the standards for coded representation of digital audio, video, 3D Graphics and genomic data. 

This page is now used to communicate news about how the spirit lives on.

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Even the stars die - The history of and how it made digital media happen

The book tells the story of how engineered the transformation of media from analogue to digital, how it fostered the subsequent development of digital media, how it was terminated and how its spirit continues in the field of data coding by Artificial Intelligence through MPAI (

It is divided in 6 sections:

Section 1 describes the world of media before 2 recounts the birth of and its first 3 standards took shape.Section 3 explores some of the media-related areas in which operated.Section 4 assesses some of’s characteristics from different viewpoints.Section 5 tells the causes of and mourns the death of 6 describes the constitution, the work MPAI did so far and its future plans.



MPAI – Moving Picture, Audio and Data Coding by Artificial Intelligence – believes that univer­sally accessible standards can have the same positive effects on AI that stan­dards wrought to digital media and has identified data coding as the area where standards can foster development of AI tech­nologies, promote use of AI applications and contribute to the solution of existing problems.

MPAI defines data coding as the transformation of data from a given representation to an equiv­alent one more suited to a specific application. Examples are compression and semantics extraction.

MPAI considers AI module (AIM) and its interfaces as the AI building block. An AIM is defined by its function, and by the syntax and semantics of its interfaces, not by how the function is performed. AIMs can be implemented in hardware or software, with AI or Machine Learning or legacy Data Processing.

MPAI’s AI framework enabling creation, execution, com­pos­ition and update of AIM-based work­flows (MPAI-AIF) is the cornerstone of MPAI standardisation because it enables building high-com­plexity AI solutions composed of interconnected multi-vendor AIMs trained to specific tasks, operating in the standard AI framework and exchanging data in standard formats.

MPAI standards will address many of the problems mentioned above and benefit various actors:

Technology providers will be able to offer their conforming AIMs to an open marketApplication developers will find on the open market the AIMs their applications needInnovation will be fueled by the demand for novel and more performing AIMsConsumers will be offered a wider choice of better AI applications by a competitive marketSociety will be able to lift the veil of opacity from large, monolithic AI-based applications.

Focusing on AI-based data coding will also allow MPAI to take advantage of the results of emer­ging and future research in representation learning, transfer learning, edge AI, and reproducibility of perfor­mance.

MPAI is mindful of IPR-related problems which have accompanied high-tech standardisation. Unlike standards developed by other bodies, which are based on vague and contention-prone Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) declarations, MPAI standards are based on Frame­work Licences where IPR holders set out in advance IPR guidelines.

Finally, although it is a technical body, MPAI is aware of the revolutionary impact AI will have on the future of human society. MPAI pledges to address ethical questions raised by its technical work with the involvement of high-profile external thinkers. The initial significant step is to enable the understanding of the inner working of complex AI systems.

To join MPAI: follow instructions at

This page is kept as historical reference to achievements. In its 30 years of activity had developed an impressive portfolio of standards and technologies that have created an industry worth several hundreds billion USD.

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In a world where information technology, consumer electronics, entertainment and telecommunication products and content variously converge by incorporating increasingly sophisticated technologies and the need for timely available standards is as strong as ever, used to provide a proven mechanism to bring research results into standards that promote innovation for the benefit of all.