IBM is bringing generative AI commentary to this year’s Wimbledon as part of a revamp of the digital fan experience.
The new feature, which draws on generative AI technology from IBM watsonx, will produce tennis commentary for all video highlights packages during tennis’ marquee tournament.
Having trained the AI in the “unique language of tennis”, IBM says it then built generative AI on top of this to produce “informative and engaging” narration with varied sentence structure and vocabulary.
The feature’s introduction this year is a step towards making commentary available in “an exciting way” for matches outside of Wimbledon’s Show Courts, which already have live human commentary, Big Blue said.
IBM is also adding AI draw analysis to the digital experience at this year’s event as part of efforts to help fans “engage with The Championship on a deeper level”.
This new feature will define how favourable the path to the final might be for each player in the singles draw. This will be based on factors including the player’s match-ups against potential future opponents and how the player’s position in the draw compares to competitors, IBM explained.
The revamp comes just as IBM released survey findings suggesting that fewer than one in three CEOs (28%) have assessed the potential impact of generative AI on their workforces, but that 36% plan to do so in the next 12 months.
IBM moved to bolster its AI prowess this week by acquiring FinOps software outfit Apptio for $4.6bn.
“We’ve seen first-hand how these technologies have the power to help major sporting events like Wimbledon to grow their audiences through outstanding digital experiences,” said Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for IBM.
“The AI and data platform that IBM is using to create unique fan experiences for Wimbledon is the same technology that we’re using to drive business transformation with clients across all sectors and industries.”
“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,” added Usama Al-Qassab, Marketing & Commercial Director, The All England Club.
“This year, we’re introducing new features for our digital platforms that use the latest AI technology from IBM to help fans gain even more insight into the singles draw and access commentary on a wider variety of matches through our match highlights videos.”