Arthur Ashe Stadium, Flushing, NY, USA, photo by @sdoy1995

US Open and IBM Watson

Using natural language processing for sporting events

This year is different, in many ways.

One of those ways is how the US Open this year, 2020, will be conducted.

It will be held without in-person spectators and with most working from home.

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) have been adapting.

It is the governing body for tennis and promote the sport in the U.S.

So, why I am talking about the US Open?

If you have followed my writing before you might have already guessed.

Of course: it’s AI!

How do one go about delivering an experience to millions of fans online?

IBM is considering this a challenge and have teamed up with the event to provide a display of their NLP capabilities.

According to themselves they have ‘reimagined’ the event.

It is ‘built’ with artificial intelligence and under-built by the ‘hybrid-cloud’.

IBM and the US Open wants to create this experience together.

IBM has its own design agency that collaborates to create it.

They have two based on NLP.

First is open question based on Watson discovery to facilitate debates.

IBM will analyse millions of news sources into insights.

Fans can weigh in and add their opinions so their arguments can change over time.

Additionally you have ‘Match Insights’ that uses natural language generation technology to transfer the calculations prior to matches.

Recreating the sound of fans. Recreating crowd sounds based on last year’s tournaments.

They claim that this use of technologies has been accelerating.

They use a hybrid cloud platform with Red Hat OpenShift.

This has allowed the USTA to accelerate development of new features and functionality.

IBM seems to hope Watson can bring more to the fan experience, but it remains to be seen.

In its most crucial form we are talking about new experiences or how existing experiences are changing.

Big Blue and the USTA are using natural language processing and Watson to pull from datasets in multiple clouds to create new digital experiences on and the US Open app.

In USTA they are also launching VIP experiences.

These happen through Zoom Video Communication.

It seems to be a different event.

The US Open will happen from Aug 31–Sep 13, 2020.

Therefore, it is possible to see in the coming weeks whether IBM succeeds or their efforts fall flat, or rather may turn out as an experience in using NLP for sporting events.

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 453. I am writing one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.

AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.