Wimbledon 2023 to feature AI-generated highlights commentary

In an effort to enhance fan engagement, this year’s Wimbledon tennis tournament will incorporate artificial intelligence (AI)-powered commentary and player analysis, enabling fans to access analysis tailored to players they follow.

In a June 21 announcement from the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and technology company IBM, the world’s oldest tennis tournament revealed its plans to adopt the new technology across its online platforms.

Developed in collaboration with the AELTC, a new AI commentary feature powered by IBM’s WatsonX technology will generate audio and captions for match highlights videos. This innovative feature is designed to provide insights into key moments using tennis-specific language.

Usama Al-Qassab, the marketing and commercial director at the AELTC, said:

“We are constantly innovating with our partners at IBM to provide Wimbledon fans, wherever they are in the world, with an insightful and engaging digital experience of The Championships” 

He added that the AI features will allow fans to access commentary on a “wider variety of matches.”

While human commentary covers Wimbledon’s “show courts” during the major matches, other events like seniors, juniors and wheelchair matches lack dedicated expert commentary.

IBM, which has been an official partner to the Wimbledon Championships since 1990, is offering a range of AI-powered analysis tools, including a player “Power Index,“ match insights and personalized highlights reels. A draw analysis feature will also introduce a new statistic that assesses the favorability of each player’s path to the singles final.

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According to Jonathan Adashek, IBM’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, the company recognizes the potential of AI technologies to enhance major sporting events like Wimbledon and attract larger audiences by delivering exceptional digital experiences.

According to reports, IBM researchers were already working on AI software with the ability to do play-by-play commentary on sports matches as early as 2019. Most recently, the company reportedly added AI-generated commentary to clips of the Masters Tournament golf championship in April.

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