Using AI to bring you more of the action at Wimbledon

Are you one of the more than 71 million fans that tune in to Wimbledon.com to get your tennis fix? Good news. This year’s match will feature even more of the action, thanks to artificial intelligence — aka AI.

Computer vision and other AI technologies will this year automatically create one to two minute packages of highlights from matches that the Wimbledon editorial team can share on their digital platforms.

Image of IBM’s AI-powered video highlights system that will auto-curate the most exciting highlights of Wimbledon 2017

Instead of sifting through hundreds of hours of footage to pinpoint the best moments, producers will choose from AI-provided suggestions. That means they can generate even more highlights for you to check out. For the first time, Wimbledon will be able to give fans highlight packages for matches played outside of the most popular courts.

The technology will pull in multiple sources of information to serve up the most exciting highlights from six show courts. Sensors on the court will share data like the speed of the ball or number of aces. The system will consider how loud the crowd cheers or a player’s behavior such as whether they are triumphantly pumping their fist. One way the system learned to recognize these actions is by “watching” videos of previous matches.

Called Cognitive Highlights, this technology is the result of a collaboration between IBM Research and IBM iX. It was first used at the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament to curate the most exciting moments and shots into segments that could be used in online highlight packages.

For more details on how it works and how it can be applied beyond the world of sports, visit the IBM Research blog. And starting Monday, July 3rd you can view highlight videos produced by the technology on Wimbledon.com.

Authored by By Rogerio Feris, Research Manager, Vision & Learning, IBM Research
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