Wimbledon 2018 to witness use of AI and Watson

Wimbledon 2018 will witness extensive use of Artificial Intelligence and Watson technologies to drive fan engagement and business efficiency.

AI-powered automated video highlights are generated using IBM Watson and other video and audio technologies to bring to life the most exciting moments of The Championships from the six main Show Courts. With an average of three matches per court, per day, video from the matches can quickly add up to hundreds of hours of footage which could take hours to pull together into highlight packages.

The AI system created by IBM Research scientists and IBM iX consultants auto-curates highlights based on analysis of crowd noise, players’ movements and match data to help simplify the highlight video production process and focus on key moments in the match.

The Wimbledon Messenger, a social assistant for those off-site, utilising the Watson Assistant chatbot capability and delivered within Facebook Messenger will put more content into social platforms where fans increasingly engage with their friends. The Bot will allow fans to access tailored information on scores, news and players while driving engagement back to the official platforms.

IBM iX rebuilt Wimbledon.com to provide content that refreshes dynamically, making the browsing experience more seamless, but also with greater ability to personalise for different audiences. The redesign also allows persistent video viewing to help maximise video use and hero The Wimbledon Channel, Wimbledon’s live video offering. This is not just an investment for 2018, but will allow Wimbledon to deliver ever more engaging experiences in future years.

A new editorial dashboard has been created for the AELTC digital team that will populate in near real-time every shot of a match and its excitement level.

IBM SlamTracker has been redesigned for 2018 to provide alternative views to different types of fan. Whether it’s high level overviews, point by point commentary or more detailed analysis, fans will be encouraged to engage in the in-match experience using different types of media from match highlights to real-time scores to social interactions. That means Wimbledon fans will have an unprecedented level of analysis, insight and engagement as the match unfolds, particularly with mobile devices in mind.

In 2018, Wimbledon is utilising Watson to create art. The official Wimbledon poster celebrating 150 years of The All England Lawn Tennis Club has been created using a unique mosaic approach drawn from the entire historic photographic archive of The Club.

Alexandra Willis, Head of Communications, Content & Digital at the AELTC said, “We want to engage with existing as well as new fans around the world, to help them be part of Wimbledon 2018, especially in what will be such a competitive sporting summer. We want to tell the stories of the phenomenal athleticism of our great players, the gladiatorial nature of the matches they play and explain the sporting narratives that will cut through to our audience. IBM is critical to us in helping us place content with fans where they want to consume it and acknowledge the ever-increasing focus on video and new content formats in social media.”

Sam Seddon, Wimbledon Client & Programme Executive, IBM said, “The solutions that IBM uses to improve the fan, player and media experience at Wimbledon are the same technologies and solutions that are used to transform industries and professions. Supporting Wimbledon in achieving their mission statement requires constant innovation and transformation to not only meet but exceed their expectations. This is why IBM has been Wimbledon’s technology and innovation partner since 1990”.


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