IBM Serves Up New Watson Tech at 2017 Wimbledon Tennis Tournament

June 27, 2017, 10:25 PM UTC
APTOPIX Britain Wimbledon Tennis
Serena Williams of the United States serves to Venus Williams of the United States, during their singles match against at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Monday July 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Photograph by Alastair Grant — AP

IBM’s artificial intelligence Watson will be in attendance at the Wimbledon tennis tournament again this year, directing fans to the most exciting matches, creating highlight reels of key moments, and helping guests navigate the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), according to Bloomberg. Watson first appeared at Wimbledon in 2015.

Starting Monday, fans will meet Fred, a Watson-enabled bot, available to event attendees via a mobile app. The bot will be able to give updates on the matches and provide directions around the event, including information such as where to buy certain merchandise, Bloomberg reports.

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The new Ask Fred app is just one of the new technologies AELTC is presenting at this year’s tournament. Watson will also be able to analyze the crowd’s noise to pick out key moments at this year’s tournament, detecting tennis players’ facial expressions, and tabulate social media buzz to determine what moments to add to highlight reels. Reels will be assembled within 30 minutes, compared to the 45 minutes it would take a person.

In addition, the tennis club is also unveiling a 360-degree video and augmented reality of the Wimbledon practice courts. This means that fans can be interactive in learning about the players during the practice rounds. They just point their phones at a tennis player and can gain insight into who they are and their past performance.

IBM (IBM) has also collaborated with AELTC to develop a new metric called competitive margin, which measured the opposing players’ of forced to unforced errors, according to Bloomberg. This new technology will be made public on Tuesday.

Watson is a key component in IBM’s brand, which has faced years of slow growth in sales and earnings. The company has called Watson a connector across all its services and software, and is hoping the artificial intelligence program will turn the brand around.

IBM has announced many partnerships with brands to use Watson, but despite a vow to be transparent last year, CEO Ginni Rometty has yet to publicly disclose any indication of how well the program is performing in the market.

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