The Changing Face Of Choice

Sometimes too much choice can be a bad thing. We’ve all been there, with too many choices of what to watch, listen to or read. We live in an ‘all-you-can-eat’ culture, but sometimes too much choice can be paralysing.

Looking to the future, the idea of choice could be very different. As Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to go from science fiction to functioning reality, we could all be getting a lot more help with our decision making.

Last week DAZN attended Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. The world’s foremost gathering of the mobile industry, MWC is a hub of discussion of the latest innovations and trends in mobile technology. It’s a great place to look ahead at the technology that could be transforming user experiences over the coming years. On the ground for DAZN was David Berlin, Director of Product, Mobile & Content Discovery. He spoke to us about some of the things that stood out at MWC, and clearly, AI was on everyone’s minds:

“Every year at Mobile World Congress I see lots of incredibly interesting demonstrations and discussions that could potentially impact the sports viewing landscape over the next decade. This year, these included some really interesting developments in 5G connectivity, augmented reality and new gesture control technology. But overwhelmingly, the biggest theme from Barcelona, which is also set to play a key role in the future of DAZN as a business, was Artificial Intelligence.

“Artificial Intelligence isn’t particularly new. People have been discussing AI and its future for a long while now. What really stood out for me at MWC was the way companies are now starting to find better, more practical ways that AI can improve user experiences. For the technology to really take off it needs to be able to provide a clear and obvious benefit in a way that doesn’t feel like a gimmick but a real value-add. There were certainly some great examples on show in Barcelona.

“One of the most significant roles for any organisation is the receptionist. Making that positive first impression will help get any meeting off on the right foot. The picture above shows Pepper, a robot receptionist which has facial recognition and tracking so it looks into your eyes when it speaks and can shake your hand or recommend purchases based on AI. Great for brand headquarters but also for all kinds of customer interactions. On a similar note, one of the really interesting developments with customer interaction could be voice interaction. At MWC a company called Dialoga were demonstrating technology that uses AI to tailor voice interactions. The tech would allow companies to change the accent of the customer services agent to sound closer to the caller or chose to sound male/female, whichever is more effective in a given scenario. Certainly, direct customer interactions could look and sound very different in the next few years.

“One of the brands who showcased some really innovative AI developments at MWC was Huawei. The Chinese mobile manufacturer has built an AI chip to be included in their phones. It adds some really interesting possibilities, for example allowing the camera to recognise landscapes, or low light close-ups, and change the camera settings to best suit that picture. Huawei also debuted an AI-driven car, which could be controlled by a phone. More sophisticated mobile devices with new AI functionality could present really interesting possibilities from a mobile sports viewing perspective.”

Clearly, Artificial Intelligence is right on the cusp of making a real impact on our day-to-day lives. For DAZN it is certainly a vital part of our development in the next few years. AI gives us the ability to personalise our platform for the individual sports fan, and the value of getting that personalisation right is far more important than across other entertainment platforms. If you’re a Tottenham fan watching a game on DAZN and then your recommended watches include Arsenal, you’re not going to be impressed with DAZN. Slightly different from watching an action movie and being recommended a romcom.

By analysing viewing habits and preferences, we will be able to offer target suggests for the sports and content that we think fans will enjoy. However, we can’t afford to get that AI wrong and will be constantly testing our AI capabilities before we roll them out.

In a world with so much sport, we think it will be a game-changing development that gives the opportunity for fans to get a whole new experience of on-demand sport. We want you to be able to just turn on DAZN and the events you want will come to you.

Keep a lookout for DAZN rolling out these new personalised experiences in the near future!