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Football highlights undergoing an automated overhaul

Are you one of those football fans who spends his Saturday nights raging at the Match of the Day producers for cutting out your team’s best moments every week?

Well help could be at hand thanks to a group of Spanish researchers who have created a computer algorithm designed to pick out the most exciting happenings from games.

The group from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia are developing software that could condense an entire 90 minute game into key highlights, free of the built-in news agendas that accompany television coverage.

The robot analyses key frames throughout the match in order to create what the group calls “occasions.”

For example, if lots of players are grouped together that would suggest a set-piece, or if there’s zoomed-in footage, that may suggest a replay of an important moment. If there’s a blast of noise from the crowd, that would suggest a goal or an incident.

Wide-angled, panoramic views, for example, would suggest the ball is being passed around in midfield and not a lot is happening within the game.

The tech is very much a work in progress right now and detected 70 per cent of all goals scored in the five games that were analysed during testing.

The group has been working with television companies in Spain with a view to assisting the editors who’re charged with condensing an entire game into just a couple of minutes for highlights shows like Match of the Day.

“We need to be sincere,” says lead researcher Arnau Raventos. “We need to say that at the moment it’s not possible to perform a complete automatic summary just yet. It’s difficult to detect all the goals.”

“However, we think it’s very easy to discard those moments that are not important. For example, the panoramic views. They are easy to detect and to discard them so that already makes the job of the editor easier.”

However, it must be easier in Spain. A little facial recognition tech on Ronaldo, Messi, Bale and Suarez should do the trick.

Read more: Best football apps: iPhone and Android essentials

Via: BBC Newsbeat

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