Written by 18:17 Business

AI-Generated Al Michaels to Deliver Paris Olympics Highlights

The Olympics have ancient beginnings. Now, they will also have a dose of the latest technology.

This year, highlights from the Summer Olympics will be brought to you by artificial intelligence — and more specifically, the A.I.-generated narration of Al Michaels.

Executives at NBCUniversal and the streaming service Peacock said on Wednesday that a customized, daily highlight reel for the Olympics would be available to streaming subscribers. The reel will feature the voice of Mr. Michaels, the 79-year-old American broadcaster, who first covered the Olympics decades ago.

Mr. Michaels, however, will not be holing up in a broadcast booth each night to briefly summarize the dozens of Olympic events that took place. Instead, Peacock’s program has been trained from Mr. Michaels’s NBC clips — he joined the network in 2006 and was its longtime “Sunday Night Football” announcer — to formulate coherent, realistic-sounding sentences, which “will provide his signature expertise and elocution,” the company said.

Mr. Michaels granted approval for the use of his voice.

“When I was approached about this, I was skeptical but obviously curious,” Mr. Michaels said in a statement issued by the company. “Then I saw a demonstration detailing what they had in mind. I said, ‘I’m in.’”

It does raise a key question, one that recalls Mr. Michaels’s most famous Olympic call: Do NBCUniversal executives believe in miracles?

NBC has been exclusively broadcasting the Olympics in the United States since 1996, and the network frequently finds itself subject to intense public scrutiny for its coverage of the Games.


Last modified: 27 June 2024