Berlin, 05 June 2019 – The German Football Association e.V. (DFB) presented a development project for comprehensive coverage of amateur football at the beBETA journalism congress. This is made possible by automated text generation – the AI-based technology behind it comes from the company Retresco, located in Berlin.
At the digital congress ‘beBETA – journalism in progress’, Anja Vianden, head of ‘QA Robotertexte’ at DFB GmbH, explained the largest robot journalism project in Germany.
‘All games, all goals’: the title of the development project says it all. With the start of the 2019/2020 season, FUSSBALL.DE, Germany’s largest amateur football platform operated by the DFB, will publish automatically generated preliminary and follow-up reports on the league matches in the men’s, women’s and older youth sectors – nationwide down to the lowest leagues. The DFB thereby follows the desire of many amateur associations for regional reporting on FUSSBALL.DE.
The match reports are based on the available official match data from the DFBnet. Natural language generation (NLG), a text creation process based on artificial intelligence, creates a natural-language text from relevant data such as match results, goal scorers and substitutions.
Retresco’s innovative NLG platform textengine.io is the technological heart of the development project. Based on the software, Retresco, together with the sports media and marketing specialist Sportplatz Media, has been developing text models for the automatic generation of match reports for four years. Together with DFB GmbH, the model was further developed. Starting next season, up to 75,000 unique texts will be created every weekend for all fans to read on FUSSBALL.DE.
‘Automated match reports make it possible for active players and fans of the approximately 25,000 amateur clubs to experience their favourite sport across the board’, says Marcel Hager, CEO of Sportplatz Media GmbH. ‘With automatic text generation, the development project gives mass sports more public visibility in a way that is unique in the world.’
‘For us at Retresco, “All games, all goals” is an example of the potential of creating stories from data,’ adds Johannes Sommer, CEO of Retresco GmbH. ‘Media companies and data providers are faced with unprecedented opportunities in automated reporting’.
Based on the textengine.io software, Retresco, its partners and customers generate automated reports for sports as well as textual content in other areas. Further examples are product descriptions for e-commerce, weather reports, traffic news or reports for finance and banking.