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Most people have heard of Watson, IBM’s supercomputer that is famous for winning Jeopardy! against human former winners of the show. However, IBM has announced they are branching out with Watson and taking the computer in new directions, specifically in the field of sports.

At the US Open, Watson is using a new system called “Cognitive Highlights,” which uses video and audio analysis to determine what constitutes highlights of a match in real time. Watson uses both audience reactions as well as player reactions to make its decisions, and these highlights are then shown on the US Open app, social media pages, and website for fans. The benefit of having Watson composing the reels is that it allows the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to manage this more efficiently and get video out to the fans quicker than ever before. Using Watson doesn’t mean their video production team is out of a job either, as they then go through and fine tune the clips and accelerate the production process for highlight packages, with Watson actually making their jobs easier.

The press release describes how it all works:

The system uses data and an analytic model to determine ‘candidate points’ for analysis. The identified ‘points’ are analyzed using sophisticated computer vision algorithms to understand the content of the video, such as the detection of a player celebrating and crowd noise. Once the individual shot highlights for the match are determined, the system uses meta-data from the match to generate the graphics to facilitate the story telling.

Not just limited to highlight reels, Watson is also helping out at the US Open as a “Cognitive Concierge” on the app and website, answering a variety of different questions from fans and can also plot maps of the venue for the user’s convenience. Watson is also being used in conjunction with the SlamTracker from years previous, which is a cross platform application for real-time scores, stats, and insights for all live and competed matches. For more information about Watson’s capabilities at the US Open, click here.

Are you excited to see what else Watson can accomplish in the field of sports and beyond? Looking forward to more AI innovations in the future? Let us know in the comments below!


Courtney Ehrenhofler

Staff Writer

A native New Yorker, Courtney loves playing all different genres of games, but if you start talking to her about Trails in the Sky, she'll never shut up.


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