Wimbledon to use ROBOT commentators during Championships with AI even able to clone John McEnroe's voice | The Sun
WIMBLEDON will use Artificial Intelligence commentary during the Championships for the first time.
Technology giants IBM will provide AI-generated captions and audio in their three-minute video highlights reels for SW19 matches on the Wimbledon App and website.
Provided there is consent, it is also possible to replicate the voice of a top star – like three-time winner John McEnroe – and use that as part of the footage soundtrack.
The BBC are using an all-human comms team for the 14-day event – which starts on Monday July 3 – but have refused to discuss future plans involving AI.
Kevin Farrar, Head of IBM’s Sports Partnerships, said: “We are using a generated voice. It’s not a real voice. It’s not based on a specific person.
“The commentary is being generated from the stats, forehand, backhand, etc.
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“We had tennis specialists on the team, so we drew on them in terms of the language it will use. It’s not based on an individual and their style.
“You can see in the future that you could train it in different styles, languages, voices. So this is a step on that journey.
“I see AI as very much complimenting the human element.
“You can’t replace John McEnroe doing commentary, that human element always needs to be there. It’s very much about supplementing and complementing.
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“For Wimbledon, it’s about providing commentary in the future on matches that don’t currently have human commentary – the seniors, juniors, wheelchair matches.
“So for all instances it’s about complimenting the human element rather than replacing.”
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