About Boardroom

Boardroom is a sports, media and entertainment brand co-founded by Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman and focused on the intersection of sports and entertainment. Boardroom’s flagship media arm features premium video/audio, editorial, daily and weekly newsletters, showcasing how athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward. Boardroom’s ecosystem encompasses B2B events and experiences (such as its renowned NBA and WNBA All-Star events) as well as ticketed conferences such as Game Plan in partnership with CNBC. Our advisory arm serves to consult and connect athletes, brands and executives with our broader network and initiatives.

Recent film and TV projects also under the Boardroom umbrella include the Academy Award-winning Two Distant Strangers (Netflix), the critically acclaimed scripted series SWAGGER (Apple TV+) and Emmy-nominated documentary NYC Point Gods (Showtime).

Boardroom’s sister company, Boardroom Sports Holdings, features investments in emerging sports teams and leagues, including the Major League Pickleball team, the Brooklyn Aces, NWSL champions Gotham FC, and MLS’ Philadelphia Union.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.
By Michelai Graham
Boardroom's Tech Reporter
June 30, 2024
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Tech Talk is a weekly digest by Boardroom’s Michelai Graham that breaks down the latest news from the world’s biggest tech companies and the future of industry-shaping trends like AI.

Did you see the AI-generated commercial from Toys “R” Us? I have to admit, I didn’t hate it. There was much criticism about the content, which makes me wonder: How else do we expect big companies to harness AI video generators like Sora? 

A peek into today’s edition: 

  • How F1 and AWS collaborate
  • Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on Boardroom Talks 
  • Major labels sue AI music generators

Inside Formula 1’s Extensive Partnership With Amazon Web Services

A couple of weeks ago, I went behind the scenes with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Formula 1 at the Canadian Grand Prix to see how the growing racing sport leverages data and technology. Formula 1 and AWS have officially been in business together since 2018. In the past six years, the pair have harnessed various technologies to track data, broadcast races, provide F1 Insights, and much more.

Of all the things Formula 1 and AWS are working on, the companies made it clear that they believe in generative AI tech, and they’re using it as much as possible.

Generative AI in Formula 1

During the Canadian Grand Prix, Boardroom was the first to share the news about Formula 1 and AWS’s debut of the first-ever generative AI-designed trophy. This weekend at the Spanish Grand Prix, Formula 1 and AWS debuted Statbot, an internal generative AI chatbot for Formula 1’s broadcast product team that can analyze Formula 1 historical data to pull key facts and statistics they typically would have to dig around for themselves. These findings are then used in the broadcast to better inform fans tuning into races. These are just a few examples of how the pair have leveraged generative AI tech in the sport.

Neil Ralph, Principal Industry Specialist in AWS’ sports division, said during an exclusive presentation at the Canadian Grand Prix that the use of generative AI during Formula 1 broadcasts has made the barrier for entry into understanding the sport a lot lower. Ralph said since Netflix’s Drive to Survive docuseries, a whole new generation of Formula 1 fans are interested in the sport, and it’s his job to help them understand what’s going on via data and insights.

“Formula 1 as a broadcast is very hard to follow through the pure use of video, so we use data to tell stories about the 20 cars that surround the five-kilometer track,” Ralph said. “It’s a bit different to following a pitch-based sport where all the action is in one place.”

Generative AI is helping educate and entertain Formula 1 fans across the globe, especially those watching from afar. This is why Formula 1 and AWS began refining how they leverage tech to capture every single movement on the track.

The Formula 1 Broadcast Operation

Formula 1 attracts a worldwide audience of over 1.5 billion fans each race, so it makes sense that it has to deploy an intercontinental remote production system.

Prior to the pandemic, Formula 1 ran its broadcast operation on the ground at each race. The sport had to get nimble and move most of those operations to a remote outpost, and once it accomplished that, it kept up with the process. Race week really kicks off for each Grand Prix when the construction crew charged with building the Event Technical Center gets on the ground. It takes five days to construct Formula 1’s media headquarters, which is capable of transmitting hundreds of terabytes of data to its remote operations in London at the remodeled Media and Technology Center at its Biggin Hill base.

Formula 1’s media center at each race requires 375 square meters of space, as it houses 750 pieces of equipment, which also includes 36 miles of fiber cabling. Aside from the hundreds of cameras and microphones installed around the track, Formula 1 also puts at least seven cameras directly onto each car to capture up-close content. Up to 90 cameras are active on the vehicles during the races, though all of them can’t stream all at once.

The TV gallery at Biggin Hill features over 400 screens, including some dedicated to the producing team at each race. As the Event Technical Center transmits data to the Biggin Hill base, various graphics are made to accompany race content.

Capturing data is just as important as capturing the race on video, which is why Formula 1’s broadcast operation has to be so robust.

Advanced Tech at Formula 1

Pete Samara, Formula 1’s Director of Innovation and Digital Technology, said while generative AI isn’t the only tech the organization is focused on, it’s started a bigger conversation about how Formula 1 is using tech in the most innovative ways. The company will continue to use AWS tech to transform how teams communicate, how fans experience races at home, how insights are shared across the board, and much more.

“One thing we are very clear on [is] we are only augmenting our teams. We are not replacing them,” Samara said. “That’s not in our vision nor will we be going there. This is about how do we make people be more effective in their roles. For us, it’s all about augmentation rather than replacement.”

Boardroom Talks: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong recently sat down with Boardroom’s co-founder  Rich Kleiman to talk about the future of AI, his company’s inception, and how to stay grounded as his empire grows. Watch the latest installment of Boardroom Talks here

  • Major music labels, including Universal Music Group, Warner Records, and Sony Music Entertainment, sued AI music generators Suno and Udio for alleged copyright infringement. The Recording Industry Association of America spearheaded the lawsuit, and the labels seek $150,000 per work infringed.  
  • Peacock will debut daily AI-generated Olympic recaps for subscribers during the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. The personalized recaps will harness the voice of renowned announcer Al Michaels
  • Amazon‘s market cap hit $2 trillion for the first time this week after eclipsing $1 trillion in 2018. The e-commerce giant joins Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple, and Nvidia as the fifth company in history to surpass the $2 trillion threshold. 
  • OpenAI secured licensing and product deals with The Atlantic and Vox Media to bring the publishers’ content libraries to ChatGPT. Users will now see citations for both publishers when their articles are used to answer ChatGPT queries.
  • Apple is the first Big Tech giant to be charged with violating the European Union’s new Digital Markets Act for allegedly making it hard for developers to direct payments outside the App Store. To that end, Apple Intelligence won’t launch in the EU this year due to regulatory concerns.

A few days after Amazon released a song collab with Megan Thee Stallion to promote Prime Day on July 16 and 17, TikTok announced a similar shopping event coined “Deals For You Days,” kicking off on July 9. I’m going to bet that we’ll see semi-regular shopping events like this from TikTok Shop moving forward, with the next one coming around the holiday season.