Fox Sports Partners With IBM to Use Artificial Intelligence for FIFA World Cup 2018

The Highlight Machine uses the IBM Watson computer technology to analyze video from FIFA World Cup archives, 2018 footage and extracts data to enable users of the app or visitors on the site to search for specific match moments: goals, yellow and red cards, football players by team and name and much more.


David Mowrey, head of product and development at IBM Watson Media, shares that the purpose of the Highlight Machine is to offer a “compelling user experience around highlights, not just in 2018 but also previously, at least 50 years.”

By combing this sort of data and analyzing it, the Highlight Machine would fulfill a task that would be otherwise done manually by employees, but considering the scope of the World Cup Championship, this process would be impractical, and even impossible. Mowrey explains that the Highlight Machine thus offers many new opportunities for working with an enormous volume of video materials.

Mowrey specifies that the 2014 World Cup tournament alone represents roughly 98,000 hours of video content, including the matches, press conferences, and other material. The analysis of this huge amount of data and video is hard to do manually, but the IBM Watson can deliver insights, “analyze the audio track and provide a transcript or generate closed captions.”

Mowrey also revealed that the product and development unit at IBM Watson is working with other businesses in the media and entertainment industry “to integrate not only these tools but other products such as Watson Captions (a tool that uses AI to automate the captioning process.” They are looking for various options to apply AI for Hollywood and film editing.

Mowrey predicts that the Watson technology could be used to catalog dailies for film editors, which is nowadays a hard manual process usually implemented by assistant editors. “It’s about working with the editor, not replacing the editor. [Watson] can augment the work, so they can be faster and more efficient.”, clarifies Mowrey.