How IBM’s artificial intelligence works to revive the old Wimbledon in 2020

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.

It is very possible that you have noticed during the months of confinement in those television channels that recover historical games of some sports, and in the huge difference in quality between the old days of tube recordings, with a 4: 3 aspect ratio and 576p resolution, with respect to what we could consider as the modern era, the digital one, the 16: 9 era and the 720, 1080 or 2160p.

It is a huge leap, and not only for the panoramic format that covers the entire surface of the current frames of our televisions, but also for the definition, sharpness and stability of the image. That problem causes many fans not to get hooked on those old contents, by not offering a minimum quality with which to enjoy them, so they become completely expired products.

A virtual Wimbledon for 2020

The case is that based on that premise, the organizers of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC)they thought it would be a good idea replace the canceled 2020 Wimbledon with a two-week digital event taking place later this month and where you can enjoy some of the best games in history. Fifteen days in which it will be possible to relive feats that have more than 40 years behind them.

That is why AELTC has decided to use a historical partner of the event, IBM, to update these meetings in such a way that they are attractive to an audience accustomed to carrying on their smartphones better cameras than those recorded, for example, that mythical finale between McEnroe and Borg from 1980, remastering their images thanks to artificial intelligence.

The work they have carried out at IBM can be seen in the video you have above, and which is condensed in an idea that has been repeated by those responsible for the project: “make attractive to the current audience content recorded with technologies from four or more decades. “At first glance, this noise is like static in the image, with colored pixels dancing (…) Along with movement within the image, this is perceived as blur and lack of sharpness and color. For modern audiences, this historical content may be less attractive because it is of lower quality than they have become accustomed to, “he said. Sam Seddon of IBM.

IBM has resorted to “Super Resolution and Deblurring” technologies to give clarity, definition and greater contrast to the image, which caused it to have to develop personalized “artificial intelligence models” always taking current standards as a reference: “In this way, the system learned what was new and what was old and, later, how to reverse the process to partially modernize old color images (…) In many ways, Wimbledon is timeless, and modern images were the Perfect input to inform the AI ​​model what Wimbledon content should look like. ” We are impatient to see how this digital Wimbledon 2020 of historical matches looks, right?