Wimbledon 2024: New AI-powered tool means tennis fans won’t miss any of the action

Wimbledon 2024: New AI-powered tool means tennis fans won’t miss any of the action

Tennis fans will be able to instantly catch up on all the latest action at this year’s Wimbledon 2024 tennis championships thanks to a new AI-powered tool.

Tournament organizers the All-England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) have unveiled its new Catch Me Up tool, powered by IBM’s Watsonx generative AI platform, in a bid to bring fans closer to every match – even if they aren’t at the tournament.

Catch Me Up utilizes Watsonx’s generative AI to create player-based updates in the form of “cards” available on the Wimbledon.com website or mobile app, providing short form commentary on their progress through the championships, set to start on July 1.

Catch Me Up

Speaking at a media briefing ahead of this year’s tournament attended by TechRadar Pro, Chris Clements, Digital Products Lead at the AELTC, noted that 650 million fans from all across the globe engage with Wimbledon in some way during the tournament. 

However some of the more interesting or less-heralded stories often go missed, especially during the first few days of the tournament, when there is simply so much action occurring.

(Image credit: AELTC / IBM)

Kevin Farrar, Head of Sport Partnerships at IBM UK, explained the model is able to take in trusted “structured” tournament data alongside “unstructured” external sources (namely analytics site Sportsradar) to learn and provide the most accurate summaries possible.

He added that the launch should help give attention or focus to some of the lesser-known players, especially in competitions such as the junior or wheelchair tournaments, which typically start once the more high-profile draws have reached their own later stages.

For that extra-special touch, Clements noted the model used for Catch Me Up has been specially trained in the Wimbledon tone of voice (for example, making sure the draws are signified as “Gentleman’s” and “Ladies” rather than men’s and women’s, as is the case at other major opens).

The launch comes as IBM releases new research showing the majority of tennis fans believe technology such as generative AI will have a positive effect on the sport.

The survey of over 18,000 fans found over half (55%) thought the technology would bring benefits, with 75% saying they believed it will have a positive impact on areas such as game strategy, coaching, and talent identification and acquisitions.

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Mike Moore

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