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Sports leagues and brands are constantly exploring advancements in technology and its potential impact on their respective end products. Many sports properties work within the content management and distribution space. 

The arrival of ChatGPT and generative artificial intelligence has fast-tracked organizations’ critical re-evaluation of the role the technology plays when it comes to enhancing content and altering internal workflows. 

ChatGPT stands for Chat Generative Pre-Traind Transformer, and it primarily acts as a real-time chatbot for users.

AI powers much of the innovative fan engagement experiences now seen across the sports landscape, and generative AI technologies are effectively accelerating the process. As a result, the way sports content is measured has shifted significantly. Content is now evaluated, managed and even consumed differently than it was just a few years ago.

“The (PGA) Tour started to engage in generative AI back in the end of 2022 when we started to see everything emerging with OpenAI and other platforms,” Senior Vice President Digital Operations, PGA Tour, Scott Gutterman told Fox News Digital. 

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A sea of Masters chairs at the 18th green during the final round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 14, 2024 in Augusta, Georgia. (Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

While AI itself has been around for a couple of decades, the current iteration of the technology is relatively new. The game-changing application of generative AI introduces new data points across virtually every industry, including sports. Generative AI has the ability to help make operations more efficient, enhance athletic performance, create more secure ticketing experiences.

Generative AI is already being applied to sports content

Generative AI’s capabilities were on full display during the Texas Rangers’ run to a World Series championship last season. The NBA has also used the technology for its popular app. Some Grand Slam tennis tournaments have also used the technology to automatically generate commentary for highlights.

A basketball is placed on the court next to an NBA logo during a break in the first half of a 2023 NBA Summer League game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2023 in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Generative AI is essentially comprised of systems that are derived from highly-trained data sets. At its core, generative AI allows expansive data sets to create high-powered outputs. Sophisticated models such as OpenAI’s GPT-4, a later iteration of ChatGPT, usually live at the foundation of the data sets.

Good teammates play an important role on the football field, basketball court, etc., and partnerships in the AI space are also critical. The PGA Tour collaborates with WSC Sports for AI-produced sports videos.

“We use AI and ML (Machine Learning) across our business in a wide variety of ways, we’ve been working with a company called WSC Sports. … using them to automatically clip and publish highlights,” Gutterman added.

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Experts argue the difference between AI investment in China and the U.S. is the fact that the American model is driven by private companies whereas China takes a government approach. (JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

The generative AI that is essentially built into WSC Sports’ models can seamlessly ingest audio and video, quickly understand the action taking place in a given game, and seamlessly add metadata tags, and generate video content based on specific criteria at lighting-fast speeds. Achieving something of this nature with a minimal amount of human intervention almost seemed unimaginable just 10 years ago. 

“For us this looked like the next step. ‘How do we begin to explore generative AI?’ with AWS being our main partner for AI and ML. So we started working with the team [in] the early days of [Amazon’s] Bedrock,” Gutterman said.

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Amazon Bedrock is “a fully managed service that offers a choice of high-performing foundation models (FMs) from leading AI companies like AI21 Labs, Amazon, Anthropic, Cohere, Meta, Mistral AI, and Stability AI via a single API, along with a broad set of capabilities organizations need to build generative AI applications with security, privacy, and responsible AI,” Amazon said in a statement sent to Fox News Digital.

AI-powered commentary is just one of many tools that are being used in the race to create hyper-personalized experiences for fans across the U.S. and around the globe, and generative AI is helping usher in the new era.

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An eye on the future

Allied Market Research estimates artificial intelligence’s value in the global sports market could surpass the $29 billion mark by 2032. For comparison, the global AI in sports market size was valued at more than $2 billion. 

Well-established sports brands are being tasked with finding innovative ways to keep their current fanbases engaged, while also attracting new supporters — generative AI presents a unique tool that could help organizations achieve their goals. 

As AI continues to redefine sports content, it becomes more and more vital that industry-leading brands develop a deep understanding of how the technology applies to their respective business if they want to stay at the top of their game.

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