The NBA has been integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into their processes to create personalized highlights for fans during their All-Star weekend and various events. This technology, which has been in development since 2014, is provided by an Israeli company called WSC Sports.
Using AI, the software from WSC Sports analyzes key moments in basketball games by examining visual, audio, and data cues. These highlights can then be shared on social media and other digital platforms, which is essential as social media plays a vital role in reaching fans. In 2019, WSC Sports reportedly produced over 13 million clips and highlights.
The utilization of AI has significantly reduced the time required to create highlight packages; while previously it took about an hour to produce a post-game highlight package, now it takes just a few minutes to create more than 1,000 highlight packages.
Bob Carney, the senior vice president of social and digital strategy for the NBA, explains that using AI not only streamlines their processes but also allows their best storytellers to focus on creating engaging content instead of repetitive tasks, with no job loss resulting from the implementation of AI.
Currently, WSC Sports is aiming to provide personalized content to individual fans, which they believe will be the future of sports highlights. In addition to the NBA, other sports leagues like the PGA Tour and the NCAA also use WSC’s technology.
The NBA has partnered with Microsoft to leverage their cloud and AI solutions, such as Microsoft Azure, for real-time highlights and optical character recognition. This partnership helps the NBA in innovating content distribution across various channels, including Twitter.
As a fan, embracing artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in the NBA allows you to enjoy instant, personalized, and engaging content while staying updated on the latest game highlights and statistics.