IBM (NYSE: IBM) and the United States Tennis Association (USTA) have unveiled exciting digital enhancements for fans on USOpen.org and the US Open app. These features include Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated spoken commentary, aiming to provide fans with a more insightful and engaging experience while reliving key moments from the tournament. Powered by IBM’s AI and data platform, watsonx, the AI Commentary employs models created, trained, and deployed using watsonx. Throughout the tournament, AI technology will automatically produce detailed audio narration and captions to accompany highlight videos of every match in the singles draw across all seventeen courts.
IBM iX, a design partner within IBM Consulting, collaborated with the USTA to utilize foundation models within watsonx, crafting AI models specialized in the unique language of tennis. The generative AI, built on these foundational models, is implemented through a hybrid cloud infrastructure enabled by Red Hat OpenShift. The commentary is designed to be informative and engaging, featuring varied sentence structures and vocabulary.
“Fans accessing the US Open digital experiences this year will be able to experience every singles match, across all seventeen courts, with detailed audio narration and captions accompanying each video – thanks to the power of IBM’s watsonx generative AI, specifically trained on the language of tennis,” stated Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing at IBM. “The AI Commentary feature was developed based on the watsonx enterprise-ready data and AI platform, designed to enable businesses to accelerate generative AI work by leveraging foundation models and machine learning in one place, with their own data.”
In a groundbreaking move, the 2023 US Open also introduces the IBM watsonx powered AI Draw Analysis, a pioneering tennis statistic. This analysis utilizes both structured and unstructured data from IBM Power Index & Likelihood to Win, offering projections of the advantage or disadvantage for players in the singles draw. Each player receives an AI Draw Analysis at the tournament’s outset, with daily updates as the event unfolds and players are eliminated. The rankings of every draw allow fans to assess the projected difficulty of a player’s draw and potential opponents.
IBM, the USTA’s official technology partner for over 30 years, continues to enhance the digital experience for fans, reaching more than 12 million people globally each year. These new features, the AI Commentary and AI Draw Analysis, complement existing digital fan offerings such as the IBM Power Index, Match Insights, and Likelihood to Win. The US Open’s digital experiences are powered by the USTA’s open hybrid cloud platform, integrating technology from numerous partners, streamlining business processes, and ensuring a world-class digital experience.
“Delivering a digital fan experience that showcases every key moment and storyline from the US Open is always our top priority, and IBM’s development leadership continually enables our fans to connect with the US Open in deeper ways every year,” staated Brian Ryerson, Senior Director, Digital Strategy, USTA. “We’re particularly excited this year for fans to experience IBM’s AI commentary with watsonx for all Singles Highlights, providing deeper insights into our video highlights than ever before. Additionally, with the watsonx powered AI Draw Analysis fans can easily visualize each player’s potential opponents and highlight their complete path to the finals allowing greater insight into each round’s potential match ups.”
The 2023 US Open, including its Fan Week and Qualifying tournament, is scheduled from August 22 to September 10. Fans can witness IBM’s technology in action, including the generative AI Commentary and daily updated IBM Draw Analysis, by visiting USOpen.org or using the US Open app available on Apple and Android app stores. These innovations reflect IBM and USTA’s commitment to co-creating exceptional digital experiences that capture the drama and excitement of the US Open, immersing fans worldwide in the world of tennis.
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