Golfs PGA Tour follows trend and adopts artificial intelligence
Golf’s PGA Tour has announced it is implementing artificial intelligence (AI) platforms to enhance its broadcasts and digital storytelling.
Nearly 20 years of statistical data from the US men’s golf circuit will be analysed by a Microsoft-developed Content Relevancy Engine (CRE), Shotlink, as well as more than 80,000 hours of video in the organisation’s digital library to provide real-time statistical trends and storylines relevant to the current action.
In times gone by, PGA Tour staff were required to spend significant amounts of time collating statistical history and information prior to the rounds to provide to the broadcast team, the CRE removes this painful and arduous task.
“In the broadcast truck, decisions on what content airs on television are made in real-time as the story is unfolding in front of everyone,” said Steve Evans, senior vice president of information systems at the PGA Tour.
“Having compelling and relevant content at our fingertips allows us to instantly provide the broadcast team with supporting information surrounding the action as it happens.
“Through artificial intelligence, we can build systems that continue to learn and develop on their own, allowing the Tour’s platforms to evolve with the fan.”
TPGA Tour is also working with WSC Sports on an AI-driven smart video generation platform, to generate content for the organisation’s digital channels with the help of data from Shotlink.
The platform creates a variety of highlights within minutes including a five-minute video package of a player’s round, a task that previously took hours to produce and post digitally.
Commenting on the platform, Scott Gutterman, the PGA Tour’s vice president of digital operations, said: “Streamlining video generation workflows using WSC’s advanced technology will help keep our fans engaged, enhance audiences’ digital experience on any digital platform and expand the Tour’s global reach.”
Fans will also be pleased to hear the tour is also introducing Narrative Science’s NLG automated stories platform, Quill, which automatically writes round recaps customised for every player in the field at the conclusion of each 18 holes of a tournament.
The service transforms the player’s most recent and relevant performance stats into insightful recaps, which can be found by fans on PGATour.com or using an internet search engine.
“The automated story platform is in response to our fans and their desire to read about players who may not be at the top of the leaderboard,” added Gutterman. “With the help of Narrative Science’s platform, we now produce an AP Style formatted story for each player in the field following every round.
“The stories also help the Tour build upon our search engine optimisation across the internet. We will continue to improve this tool by posting related video and photo assets from the Tour’s vast digital library.”