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National Premier League Tennis to use AI to auto create highlights

By 9th September 2020 No Comments

It’s the first time Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used by a semi-pro tennis event.

Online highlights from the National Premier League Tennis (NPL) finals in London this week are being produced using an AI technology.

UK-based data science company Peak Indicators has created the AI, which automatically produces video highlights from a live feed.

It’s trained to identify action on court automatically and capture footage from individual points for sharing on social media.

The system uses Deep Learning, which mimics the human brain when processing data, to identify when the ball is in motion and automatically capture the action.

To make the Peak Indicators system cost-effective, its design is based on low-cost commodity hardware such as an HD action camera and a mid-range laptop.

Previously, high-profile, high-budget events such as Wimbledon have utilised AI in a similar way (via IBM Watson) but the NPL believe this is the first time AI has been used to create tennis highlights at a semi-pro event.

Mike Dixon, director, National Premier League Tennis, said: “Our partnership with Peak Indicators is proving to be valuable to both the NPL and our loyal sponsors. Incorporating their AI technology into our tournaments means we can engage with players and spectators in new and exciting ways and increase the profile of our events on social media. We look forward to seeing the real-time highlights and replays during our finals. This is the first time technology of this kind has been trialled in British Tennis and the LTA are so happy with Peak Indicators’ technical involvement.”

Antony Heljula, technical director at Peak Indicators, added: “AI will transform so many areas of life, and we are keen to show that this technology can be accessible and affordable. Our goal for the NPL finals was to use AI and data science to provide the kind of online experience that was only available previously at Grand Slam events with professional broadcasters and big production budgets, and this event is the first real test of this new system.”

Peak’s system will be trialled at the NPL Finals (10-13 September 2020) at the Sutton Tennis and Squash Club in London. Highlights can be viewed on the NPL’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.

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