It is impossible to replace McEnroe
This season, at Wimbledon, Bill Jenks promises that the referees will continue to work at the Gamesbut is unable to guarantee that this situation will continue in the future.
Line arbitration technology is evolving. Since 2007 we have used the Hawkeye system (video that players can claim on a limited number of occasions if there are questionable balls) And it works very well. Who knows what will happen in the future? “
For Chris Clements, digital director at the All England Club, advances in technology have changed the way society consumes sport, at a time when there has been a buzz around artificial intelligence since the release of tools like ChatGPT or Midjourney.
“Wimbledon, when we were children, was the time when the whole family would gather in front of the TV in the living room,” he recalled. “Now, it’s less frequent. You have to find another way to attract those who are going to embody the next generation of Wimbledon fans.”
Now it’s about “collecting massive amounts of data and turning it into information that we can share with fans around the world through digital platforms,” says Kevin Farrar, IBM’s head of sports sponsorship in the UK and Ireland.
He adds that the goal is to use this AI (which generates sports commentary) later for the entire match, for categories that wouldn’t normally benefit from it, such as veterans, juniors or wheelchair tennis. Determining, yes, that it is not about leaving aside human intervention entirely.
“Replacing John McEnroe’s Comments… Impossible! A person should always be present, it is simply a matter of completing him. The challenge is to find the right balance between tradition and innovation.”