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Formula 1, Amazon using AI to bring real-time stats to races on TV

The opening lap of the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix Formula 1 race. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Formula 1 and Amazon will partner on a new artificial intelligence tool that will provide real-time statistics and other information to television viewers.

The tool, called “Statbot,” debuted during the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday. The tool, powered by Amazon Web Services, searches Formula 1 race archives and other sources of data for contextual information that serves as trivia and race predictors.

“With this data and the intimacy with the fan, you can contemplate hyper-personalized experiences,” Eric Gales, the Managing Director of AWS Canada, said in an interview with the financial news publication Bloomberg, which first reported on the tool.

Some of the predictions that Statbot will offer against future races may include when a driver intends to make a pit stop or when drivers might change positions on the track. Elements like car performance, tire degradation and fuel consumption will be coupled with data like speed and temperature to offer even more predictive analysis.

“We can’t just rely on giving them a passive experience,” Dean Locke, the Director of Broadcast and Media at Formula 1, told reporters at a press conference last week.

The integration of real-time stats into Formula 1 comes amid a push by other sports franchises to introduce more data into their TV and web broadcasts. Amazon itself offers an alternate broadcast of its NFL Thursday Night Football games on Prime Video and Twitch that offer real-time stats through a separate “L-bar” graphic. ESPN has started offering a real-time win predictor during some events, which updates when a team scores or as a game progresses.

The introduction of Statbot could prove to be a boon for Formula 1 TV, the free, ad-supported television (FAST) channel developed through a partnership with Formula 1 and C15 Studio. Formula 1 TV offers replays of races after they air on television in the United States.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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