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Welcome to the future, where AI-generated Al Michaels reads you personalized Olympic recaps

Welcome To The Future Where Ai Generated Al Michaels Reads You Personalized Olympic Recaps

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Who among us hasn’t lied awake at night during past Olympics, longing for personalized daily event summaries read in the dulcet tones of legendary sports broadcaster Al Michaels? Well, our moment has finally come. “Your Daily Olympic Recap on Peacock” will let you choose your favorite sports and highlight types for the 2024 Summer Olympics, and an AI-generated Michaels will read a 10-minute customized recap of the previous day’s events based on your preferences.

Michaels said he was understandably reluctant when NBC asked for his approval, but he ultimately came around to the AI-fueled vision. “When I was approached about this, I was skeptical but obviously curious,” the Hall of Fame broadcaster said. “Then I saw a demonstration detailing what they had in mind. I said, ‘I’m in.’”

Peacock shared a demo of one of the recaps with Engadget, and it’s easy to see why the Hall of Fame broadcaster came around. You’d be hard-pressed to tell the AI-generated speech from Michaels’ real voice. Even the clone’s subtle rhythms and intonations sound distinctly like him.

Screen showing Olympics and Al Michaelds

NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal says it trained AI Al on Michaels’ past appearances on NBC. The 79-year-old currently calls play-by-play for Amazon’s Thursday Night Football and holds an emeritus role for NBC Sports, where he’s worked since 2006.

Peacock’s recaps will draw from what it says will be 5,000 hours of live coverage from this summer’s games. They will cover up to 40 concurrent daily Olympic events and have the potential for “nearly 7 million personalized variants.”

NBCUniversal says its editors will review all of the customized content — including audio and clips — before sending it to users. If enough people sign up, that sounds like quite the undertaking. But given the embarrassing mistakes we’ve seen previous AI gimmicks make, it’s probably a wise choice.

You can opt into the recaps starting on July 27, when the first edition will summarize the previous day’s Opening Ceremony. The 2024 Summer Olympics kick off on July 26 in Paris. After the torch is lit, you can sign up for the recaps on Peacock’s Olympics website (it supports Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Edge) and in the Peacock mobile app.

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