Women's World Cup: Fox Sports Extends Use of AI in Production With IBM Watson

The "Player Spotlight" broadcast segment uses Watson to locate and create stat analysis.
LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images

Fox Sports continues to experiment with AI, this time by incorporating IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technology into its production workflow for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Hollywood has already started to use or experiment with incorporating AI into aspects of filmmaking, including to animate digital characters and even to help bring life to digital humans. For film editors, AI could help them search for and identify clips, as well organize them more quickly and efficiently.

In the case of Fox Sports, its new broadcast segment called "Player Spotlight" is built with IBM Watson to locate and create statistical analysis. "Player Spotlight" ingests tournament data from Opta, a data provider that collects and analyzes every pass, goal and penalty kick. Fox Sports commentators then interact directly with the tool by entering queries into the navigation function, which in turn surfaces highlights, data and analytics that the broadcasters can reference on-air.

During the 2018 FIFA Men’s World Cup, Fox Sports used Watson on its FIFA World Cup Highlight Machine, which was available through its Fox Sports App and FoxSports.com. In this case, Watson analyzed video from the FIFA World Cup archive, as well as 2018 footage, and extracted data, allowing fans to search for goals, red cards, players by name and the like.