Wimbledon is set to showcase AI commentary and draw analysis during this year's Championships.


IBM and the All England Lawn Tennis Club have announced exciting new AI-powered enhancements for the Wimbledon digital fan experience during this year's Championships.

These features include generative AI commentary and AI draw analysis, specifically designed to enrich engagement and provide insights for tennis enthusiasts.

According to Usama Al-Qassab, Marketing & Commercial Director at The All England Club, the aim is to constantly innovate with IBM and offer Wimbledon fans worldwide an insightful and engaging digital experience of The Championships. This year, they are introducing new features on digital platforms that utilize IBM's latest AI technology to provide fans with more insight into the singles draw and access commentary on a broader range of matches through match highlights videos.

The AI commentary feature, developed in collaboration with IBM iX, allows fans watching match highlights videos to receive audio commentary and captions of key moments. This tool enhances the experience of catching up on matches via the Wimbledon App and wimbledon.com. It also marks a step toward making commentary available for matches beyond Wimbledon's Show Courts, which already have live human commentary.

Experts from IBM iX and The All England Club worked together to train the AI using foundation models from IBM's enterprise AI and data platform, watsonx. The generative AI used in this feature produces narration with diverse sentence structures and vocabulary, making the clips more informative and engaging.

In a first-of-its-kind innovation in tennis, the AI draw analysis feature utilizes AI to provide statistics determining the favorability of each player's path to the final in the singles draw. Factors such as match-ups against potential opponents and the player's position in the draw compared to competitors contribute to the draw favorability rating. This unique insight allows tennis fans to uncover anomalies and potential surprises that may not be evident solely by considering the players' rankings, encouraging more debate and engagement within the fan community.

Jonathan Adashek, SVP of Marketing and Communications for IBM, highlighted the contribution of innovative tools powered by foundation models and generative AI from watsonx to bring new layers of insight and engagement to the 2023 Championships. These technologies have proven to enhance major sporting events like Wimbledon and grow their audiences through exceptional digital experiences. The same AI and data platform used for Wimbledon is also employed in driving business transformation with clients across various sectors and industries.

These new features complement the existing suite of AI-powered tools available on the Wimbledon App and wimbledon.com, including the IBM Power Index Leaderboard, IBM Match Insights, and Personalized Highlights Reels and Recommendations. Leveraging IBM's Watson AI technology, these tools analyze over 100,000 data points from every shot played throughout the tournament, providing fans with a deeper understanding of the players, their opponents, and likely outcomes. Constant updates and tailored insights ensure fans remain engaged throughout the tournament.

Wimbledon 2023 is scheduled to take place from July 3 to July 16. Fans can experience these AI-powered features by visiting wimbledon.com or downloading the Wimbledon App from the App Store or Play Store.

(Photo by Ariv Gupta on Unsplash)