Formula 1 and Amazon launch AI ‘Statbot’ to personalize broadcasts

At Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, Formula 1 plans to introduce a new artificial intelligence “Statbot” with Amazon.com Inc., whose executives outlined plans for personalized streams powered by artificial intelligence to keep viewers engaged.

The statbot will crawl race files and analyze torrents of racing data in real time to feed context and trivia to broadcast to presenters live during the Barcelona race, using technology from cloud computing division Amazon Web Services from the Seattle-based company, said Neil Ralph, the technician. company leadership in technical collaboration with F1.

It’s a sign of how AI is infiltrating media and how F1 owner Liberty Media Corp. is looking for ways to keep fans glued to their screens.

Led by billionaire cable magnate John C. Malone, Liberty bought F1 from CVC Capital Partners in a deal announced in 2016. Since then, it has focused on increasing the sport’s global appeal, growing its audience with marketing tactics such as Netflix behind the scenes. Documentary series inc. Formula 1: Drive to survive.

But in a sport loaded with engineering, whose human protagonists are hidden behind helmets, executives also want ways to liven up the live race broadcast. The companies say they are also using artificial intelligence to offer in-race predictions about things like pit stop timing or when a driver might try to overtake a rival, based on real-time details like car performance and degradation. of the tires.

“With this data and the intimacy with the fan, you can see hyper-personalized experiences,” AWS Canada CEO Eric Wales said in an interview at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal in early June.

Ralph said, “That’s where we want it to go, so that you as a fan can choose how much data to see and what stories you want to be told.”

Competing against other sports, streaming shows, TikTok and video games, the battle for attention has never been more intense. While F1 has expanded its reach in the United States with the Netflix series and new races like the Las Vegas Grand Prix, the sport is still sometimes criticized for being too predictable. Last year, F1’s top driver, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, won 19 of the 22 races; This year he has won six of nine.

“We can’t just rely on giving them a passive experience,” said Dean Locke, F1’s director of broadcast and media, speaking to reporters in Montreal remotely from the group’s media and technology center in Biggin Hill, UK.

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