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NB-AI generative tool promises to create innovate live game viewing experience for fans

NB-AI generative tool promises to create innovate live game viewing experience for fans

Tooba Shakir 1 month ago 0 0

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As the viewing habits of sports fans continue to shift, more and more sports leagues have attempted to give consumers new and innovative ways to engage with players and games.

A number of NBA fans use the league’s mobile app to watch their favorite team. Given the growing popularity of its digital platforms, the NBA is tapping into artificial intelligence to enhance fans’ viewing experience.

During February’s Tech Summit, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver demonstrated the AI technology that will likely alter the way fans interact with games whenever they opt to experience the league with the app.

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NBA logo on a backboard

The NBA logo on a backboard before a game between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz at Ball Arena Oct. 30, 2023, in Denver, Colo.  (C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images)

“There is a need to see the NBA making strides to use AI,” Alex Beckman told Fox News Digital. “What we see is brands that have invested early — that have gotten a head start — (are) now making strides (into) that second and third tiers of AI and how it can touch fans.”

Beckman is the founder and CEO of ON, a leading AI chat platform which powers AI experiences for some of the world’s most recognizable sports brands, including the New York Yankees and Las Vegas Aces.

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While Silver provided a sneak peek at the technology, the league billed it as an engine that will drive a new, personalized experience when live games are viewed on the app.

While several details about the technology remain unknown, one of the features is expected to allow for full animation. Users would essentially have the ability to animate players or make it appear as though the game is a movie.

Adam Silver speaks to the media

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a press conference before the NBA In-Season Tournament finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas Dec. 9, 2023.  (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images)

During one point of the demonstration, Silver asked the tool to transform the action of a live game “as if it were a Spider-Man movie.” Just moments later, players turned into cartoon characters, dramatic music began playing and digital effects associated with the popular comic book were added.

“Today, AI is creating a similar excitement to what we saw around the early days of the internet,” Silver said during the experimental preview. 

“Intuitively, most of us have a sense that artificial intelligence is going to change our lives.”

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San Antonio Spurs rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama assisted Silver during the presentation. The top pick in last year’s draft showed off the technology’s live translation capabilities. The NB-AI commentary can quickly change the words from the classic sports movie “Hoosiers” from English to French.

Victor Wembanyama during a Summer League game

Victor Wembanyama (1) of the San Antonio Spurs during the 2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League July 9, 2023, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.  (David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)

How will AI impact the NBA in future?

For now, consumers typically engage with AI via widely available means, such as the text-based ChatGPT or popular voice-assisted tools like Siri and Google Assistant. However, tech companies such as OpenAI are pushing the focus to video that is generated by a variety of algorithms. Earlier this year, OpenAI teased its next model, Sora.

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The technology presents several pros and cons. For instance, some have raised concerns about whether AI could be used to potentially circumvent athlete NIL rights by using AI versions instead. On the positive side, AI can help ramp up healthy competition between sports leagues and teams to utilize next-generation entertainment options to increase fans’ engagement.

The future of AI has been a hot topic since the technology became more widely accessible to the general public in late 2022.

“There’s been a conversation for a long time about what is (AI)? And is it safe? The brands that got their heads around that early are now having successful launches and innovations on top of that … first layer of interaction. And it’s nice to see the NBA leading in that category,” Beckman noted.

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Wembanyama described NB-AI as “incredible.” Although NB-AI is in its infancy, the French phenom believes the coming months and years will play a significant role in the technology’s development. 

“Only the future will say what it will look like,” Wembanyama added.

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