This has been a big year for IBM Watson Media. Since launching a year ago, we’ve worked with the Grammy’s, FOX Sports and The World Cup, The Masters, and introduced a new product: Watson Captioning. A highly trainable, AI-powered offering, Watson Captioning provides broadcasters and publishers alike with a new tool to take closed captions to the next level. Today, we’re excited to kick off a new collaboration with Sinclair Broadcast Group that will roll out Watson Captioning to all of their local stations across the United States, making live programming more accessible to local viewers, including the Deaf community, senior citizens, and anyone experiencing hearing loss.
Television requirements for closed captioning were established in 1996, but more than two decades later, live captioning remains both challenging and labor-intensive for production teams to deliver in real time. As a result, breaking news, weather, and live sports segments often have delayed or incorrect captions, leading to a confusing and occasionally frustrating viewing experience. With our Watson Captioning technology, Sinclair will be able to improve caption accuracy, automate time-intensive manual processes, and reduce production costs, all while providing captions in real time at scale.
As fans around the world get ready to head to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup this June, FOX Sports and IBM are launching a historical AI collaboration across multiple FOX Sports properties and programming— the first of its kind for the broadcaster.
Beginning with the 2018 FIFA World Cup, FOX Sports is tapping IBM Watson Media’s specialized AI video technology and IBM iX’s proven expertise in designing user experiences to streamline production workflows to quickly classify, edit and access match highlights in near real-time. The advancements to production and distribution will enable FOX Sports to curate engaging video clips and match highlights so that sports enthusiasts back home don’t miss a single play, penalty kick, or goal.
With the news moving at lightning speeds, consumers are more tuned into current events than ever while media companies are challenged to keep pace. Broadcast networks are under intense pressure to respond quickly to breaking news, world events, and sporting games in order to satisfy consumer demand for instant, quality digital experiences.
However, delivering accurate captions for live broadcast is both time and resource intensive for broadcast networks, given that production teams must manually transcribe live programming in real-time – which often leads to delayed or incorrect captions. To solve these challenges, IBM launched Watson Captioning – a flexible, scalable solution that leverages AI to automate the captioning process and uses machine learning to improve accuracy over time. As outlined in this white paper, Captioning Goes Cognitive: A New Approach to an Old Challenge, Watson is bringing greater context to video assets while removing some of the challenge associated with closed captioning.
Through its Live Captioning functionality, Watson Captioning empowers closed captions for broadcast networks, unlocking value from live video content and optimizing the viewer experience. By accurately captioning live video content, broadcasters can provide premium experiences for local viewers, increase accessibility for the hearing-impaired community, and adhere to compliance standards.