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IBM Introduces AI Commentary to Wimbledon Digital Experience


Image from IBM

The All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced the launch of exciting new features for the Wimbledon digital fan experience at this year's Championships. Leveraging IBM WatsonX's generative AI technology, a groundbreaking Artificial Intelligence (AI) feature will provide tennis commentary for all video highlights packages during Wimbledon.


In an unprecedented move for tennis, the IBM AI Draw Analysis feature will offer a unique statistic that assesses the favourability of each player's path to the singles final. This AI-powered insight considers various factors such as potential opponents and the player's draw position, offering a rating scale that reveals hidden surprises and provides additional information for fans.


These innovative additions expand upon the existing suite of digital tools available to fans through the Wimbledon App and wimbledon.com. They exemplify the continued collaboration between IBM and Wimbledon in leveraging technology to enhance fan engagement with The Championships.


The AI Commentary feature aims to provide an enriched experience for fans watching match highlight videos by offering audio commentary of crucial moments, along with optional captions. The tool seeks to provide insightful coverage of key match moments on the Wimbledon App and wimbledon.com, extending the availability of commentary to a wider range of matches beyond Wimbledon's Show Courts, which already feature live human commentators.


To develop this pioneering feature, experts from IBM iX, IBM's experience design partner, collaborated with The All England Club to train the AI using foundation models from WatsonX. Generative AI was employed to produce dynamic and engaging narrations, incorporating diverse sentence structures and vocabulary specific to tennis.


The introduction of IBM AI Draw Analysis marks a significant milestone for tennis analytics. By leveraging AI, this feature evaluates the player's draw favourability, allowing fans to identify potential anomalies and surprises in the singles draw. This fresh perspective encourages thoughtful analysis and engagement within the fan community.


Usama Al-Qassab, Marketing & Commercial Director of The All England Club, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership with IBM, stating, "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." Al-Qassab emphasised the goal of delivering new features that utilise IBM's AI technology to offer fans greater insights into the singles draw and access to commentary across a wider range of matches through highlight videos.


Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for IBM, highlighted the significance of these cutting-edge tools in enhancing the fan experience at Wimbledon. He emphasised that the same AI and data platform employed for Wimbledon's digital features is also leveraged to drive business transformation across various industries.


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