AWS, IBM, Google Cloud talk new AI uses at SBJ Tech Week

From l-r: Veritone Head of Sports & Entertainment Gary Warech, AWS Global Professional Services Head of Sports Julie Neenan Souza, IBM Program Dir of Worldwide Sports & Entertainment Sponsorship Marketing Elizabeth O’Brien and Google Cloud Global Strategic Industries Dir of Media & Entertainment Albert LaiMarc Bryan-Brown

Veritone’s Gary Warech welcomed onlookers to the “obligatory AI panel” on Wednesday at SBJ Tech Week — called Generative AI’s Applications Across The Sports Industry — but the joke yielded way to three key sports AI activations by the three tech giants represented: AWS, Google Cloud and IBM. 

The newest of them came from Julie Souza, AWS’s Head of Sports, Global Professional Services. The company is demoing multi-lingual commentary generation for the Bundesliga in the next couple of weeks. Leading to the next difficulty that comes with auto-generated play-by-play: capturing the emotion. 

“What I love about sports is there’s emotion in sports, right?” Souza said. “And so you have to be able to convey that, you have to use the colloquialism of that culture, of that country, in that language.”  

Elizabeth O’Brien — IBM’s Program Dir, Worldwide Sports and Entertainment Sponsorship Marketing — cited that the 20,000 golf shots at The Masters to create the color commentary for every shot, teaching the model the different parts of the course, provide insight on the distance hit and the yardage from the pin in order to give fans more context around their favorite golfers. “There’s an accessibility play, so people who actually couldn’t see as well could understand what was happening, but also there was an accessibility play from your ability to watch whatever you want.” 

Albert Lai, Google Cloud’s Global Strategic Industries Dir for Media and Entertainment, pointed to the years-long relationship with Fox Sports to manage a vast catalogue of media spanning approximately 50 years. AI automation made that possible in taking the technology and “thinking about this in a transformational opportunity.” 

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