Artificial Intelligence

AI writer at Wimbledon criticised for errors

2nd July 2024
Paige West

An AI writer, implemented to provide updates from Wimbledon, has been found to publish numerous factual errors on the tournament’s first day, according to The Guardian.

The new feature, Catch Me Up, aims to deliver pre- and post-match player profiles with AI-generated stories and analysis on Wimbledon’s app and website. However, it has already come under fire for inaccuracies.

Reportedly, the AI described former US Open champion Emma Raducanu as the British No 1, despite her being ranked No 3. Additionally, it claimed the 21-year-old from Bromley had won 11 matches this year, whereas she had actually secured 14 victories.

Another error involved the portrayal of a match between 35-year-old Zhang Shuai, a two-time doubles grand slam champion from China currently experiencing a losing streak, and 27-year-old Russian player Daria Kasatkina. The AI inaccurately labelled their encounter as an "eagerly anticipated clash between two up-and-coming players."

Some errors were reportedly corrected after users highlighted them on social media.

Wimbledon introduced the new feature in collaboration with IBM at an event last month. This comes after facing criticism last year for using AI-powered commentary and captions in online highlights, a trial that was not continued this year.

A spokesperson for the All England Club said on Monday: “The Catch Me Up feature is a first-of-its-kind pilot within sport, delivered in partnership with IBM. This AI innovation will naturally continue to evolve as the system’s capability builds, with the assistance of human checks.

“This feature complements the traditional breadth of rich editorial content created by our team of writers who provide in-depth coverage of the championships for audiences around the world.”

Technology experts have cautioned that unchecked AI can lead to significant issues when responsible for publishing crucial information.

John Kirk, Deputy CEO at ITG said: “AI is set to play a crucial role in all aspects of our daily lives, and this example is a stark reminder that its function should be to support, not replace human creativity and talent. Whether the task is live analysis, copywriting, or generative image creation, this technology should be used proportionately to improve services, but without external input it could well be prone to error.”

Meanwhile, Will Sargeant, UK General Manager at AND Digital said: “The race to implement the latest AI technologies requires careful management, especially when it comes to fact checking content before it goes live to the public. While the technology will undoubtedly speed up the creation of content, this approach needs to be closely supported by human intervention and digital expertise.”

AI expert Libero Raspa, Director of adesso UK added: “This example underlines the importance of deploying a blended approach to AI adoption, combining human experience and expertise alongside the efficiency of the technology. Used correctly, it can bring fantastic benefits to tournaments like Wimbledon, but having human expertise in place is crucial to ensure quality and high standards of output at all times.”

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