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NBC to use AI to deliver personalized Olympics highlights in Al Michaels’ voice

Al Michaels smiling

Dec 29, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Amazon Prime sportscaster Al Michaels walks on the field before the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Dallas Cowboys at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Some fans are going to receive personalized highlights delivered by an Al Michaels-like voice this summer, but it won’t be the actual Al Michaels doing it.

NBC announced on Wednesday what it has planned for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. NBC is planning to deliver personalized highlights of the Olympics available on Peacock, and those highlights will be narrated by an artificial intelligence-driven voice that replicates Michaels.

According to a story published by Vanity Fair on Wednesday about the product, the artificial intelligence model analyzes subtitles and metadata to summarize clips from NBC’s Olympics coverage. Then they adapt those summaries to fit Michaels style. “The resulting text is then fed to a voice AI model that has learned Michaels’ pronunciations and intonations,” according to Vanity Fair.

Michaels was impressed by the AI’s ability to replicate his announcing style.

“They were able to do exactly what I might—I shouldn’t say ‘exactly,’” Michaels told Vanity Fair. “It sounded like what I might say in certain situations.”

The 79-year-old Michaels has held an emeritus role with NBC since 2022 and gave his blessing for the network to proceed with using an AI-generated version of his announcing. However, he does realize the potential negative ramifications this could have for those with goals of being an announcer.

“I just sat there and thought, In the next life, I’m going to need a new profession,” Michaels told Vanity Fair.

Wondering what an Al Michaels personalized AI highlight sounds like? Take a listen:

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