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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When I worked at ESPN, one of my jobs was to watch a live sporting event, log everything that happened in real-time, and produce a highlight (usually one short version, one long) that would run on "SportsCenter."

The state of play: Deciding what plays and replay angles to include in my 60-second retelling of a 48-minute basketball game felt like a very "human" task. But fast forward just a few years, and that job, like so many others, is now being automated.

Driving the news: WSC Sports, a Tel Aviv-based startup developing AI-powered sports video creation tools, recently closed a $23 million Series C round to bring the company's total funding to $39 million.

How it works: WSC Sports' AI technology analyzes sports broadcasts, identifies key plays, and combines them into highlight reels in near real-time. Those short-form clips are then published and distributed at scale for clients like the NBA and Bleacher Report.

  • The AI listens for crowd noise and understands that the louder the crowd, the more important the play was. It knows that multiple replays mean something big just happened, and it’s always aware of the score, the time and the situation.
  • As a result, it can construct a narrative of the game as the action unfolds and instantly produce a highlight reel recapping what went down.

Why it matters: This technology could revolutionize how sports networks and media outlets produce highlights, which remain a huge part of every sport fan's diet even if the glory days of Stuart Scott and "boo-yah" are over.

  • In fact, while some may argue that the sports highlight show is dead, highlights themselves are more ubiquitous than ever thanks to social media.

The big picture: In addition to taking over highlight-making duties, our robot overlords are also writing game previews and recaps — and that's actually been going on for a while now.

  • Newsflash: If you read a preview of a college basketball game or a recap of a minor league baseball game this year, there’s a good chance it was written by AI designed to turn data into natural language, rather than a human being assigned to cover that game.

Go deeper: The coming impact of automation

Go deeper

White House unveils landmark reports on climate links to security, migration

Photo Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The Biden administration on Thursday released a sweeping set of assessments on how to view threats that climate change poses to national security and its role in fueling migration.

Why it matters: One of the key products, a formal National Intelligence Estimate on climate change, marks the first time all 18 elements of the U.S. intelligence community have released a consensus report on the topic.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.

Updated 56 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."