The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has confirmed that this month’s European Team Athletics Championships included AI-generated commentary. Hannah England, former middle-distance athlete and British commentator, lent her voice to the project. England shared her excitement about the project in a recent statement.
“I am excited to work with European Athletics and the EBU to explore using AI to bring even more content to our fans, speaking with one voice,” says England. “We are always looking for innovation in athletics and I believe this use of my cloned voice can enhance the fan experience by giving them another incentive to follow our sport.”
Athletics’ 24-hour live blog acted as an audio stream featuring the AI-generated copy of England’s voice during the event. Recently the blog offered additional editorial content for major European sporting events like the Istanbul 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championship.
According to the EBU, “This audio innovation will allow Eurovision Sport and European Athletics to test the latest AI technology and demonstrate how it can be used effectively within a supervised framework to give people more choice in how they follow their favourite sport.”
The team athletics ran from June 20 to June 25 in Chorzow, Poland and were part of the multi-sport European Games around the city of Krakow.
The Rise of ChatGPT
Since its launch, generative AI ChatGPT has been used for various creative endeavors. Modder, Art From The Machine, is creating a Skyrim mod that uses generative AI to generate realistic NPC responses. South Park co-creator Trey Parker even used the prolific AI to write Season 26, episode 4, Deep Learning. Author Tim Boucher has used a combination of ChatGPT and other generative AI software to write nearly 100 books. In addition to scripts and novels, ChatGPT can create games. The generative AI created Sumplete, a game similar to Sudko. One developer even produced a Beat Saber clone using ChatGPT.