IBM Launched Watson Media at the 2017 US Open Tennis Championships
At the end of August, IBM launched Watson Media, a new suite of AI-powered solutions on the IBM Cloud that analyze images, video, language, sentiment and tone, at the US Open. By combining Watson with video capabilities, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is able to rapidly share highlight videos of more matches while engaging and informing fans more than ever before.
The US Open uses one of the first solutions available through IBM Watson Media called Cognitive Highlights. It can identify the match’s most important moments by analyzing the statistical tennis data, sounds from the crowd and the reactions of a player using both action and facial expression recognition. The system then ranks the shots from seven US Open courts and auto-curates the highlights, which simplifies the video production process and ultimately positions the USTA team to scale and accelerate the creation of cognitive highlight packages.
The finished highlight videos are available each day. USTA posts a Highlight of the Day, as ranked by Watson, on its Facebook page. Fans that “favorite” players on the US Open apps receive real-time push notification alerts about those players’ highlights. Fans on iOS 10 can play the highlights within the lock screen. On the player bio page, video highlights are available across all of the USTA’s digital platforms.
Leading up to the US Open, IBM’s cognitive highlights technology was tested as a proof of concept at this year’s Masters Tournament, and also was served as part of the content production system at Wimbledon. The successful results and positive reception at both events led to the technology being integrated into the new soon to be commercially available solutions from IBM Watson Media.
Watson Media is designed to provide companies with a more comprehensive view of video than other technologies on the market. It will provide a deep analysis of objects, people and words, as well as concepts, emotional overtones and character personalities. This deep understanding of video can help companies deliver more relevant content to consumers, provide advertisers more effective matches for their products and help production teams find specific parts of videos.
In addition to generating AI-powered match highlights, IBM is elevating the fan experience at the US Open by incorporating a Cognitive Concierge in the US Open app’s Guest Info feature, which answers a variety of questions from fans attending the tournament. Enabled by Watson APIs, the app provides information about scoring, schedules, transportation, and dining options featuring a natural language interface. Depending on the question, Watson may also plot the response on an interactive map of the venue, which will also indicate an attendee’s current location, where available.