During this year’s US Open IBM used the event to launch its IBM Watson Media platform. This is a suite of solutions that are powered by artificial intelligence and that exist on the cloud to analyze tone, sentiment, language, video and images. In the course of the tournament the United States Tennis Association used the cognitive highlights solution of IBM Watson Media in the rapid creation and sharing of highlight videos from the matches on a variety of platforms.
“This allows the USTA to produce more highlights at scale … There’s still a great editorial team and video team here that do a wonderful job creating highlights, but this allows them to produce that content at scale,” said IBM’s program manager, John Kent.
Cognitive Highlights solution
Watson’s Cognitive Highlights solution is able to identify the most important moments of a match by analyzing player reactions, crowd response and statistical tennis data by employing both facial-expression and action recognition. Shots are ranked from seven television courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The highlights are then auto-curated with the result being that video production is simplified and thus allow this to be done on a larger scale as well as at a faster rate. The Cognitive Highlights solution was initially piloted by IBM during the Masters earlier in the year. It was also used in Wimbledon mid this year.
Though the artificial intelligence solution may lead to fears of job losses as it could replace editors, it was widely embraced at the US Open because it made the edit team more effective in their work. Additionally there are editing processes that will never be automated because they require human creativity and insight.
Highlight videos from the tournament were made available in various ways and this included having some of them posted on Facebook. Real-time push notifications were also received by fans who had favorited players on some of the US Open applications. Video highlights were also made available on the bio pages of players across all the digital platforms of the United States Tennis Association. The players’ lounge also contained the highlights as well as the NTC-located IBM Watson Experience.
Besides Cognitive Highlights at the US Open, IBM Watson Media also provided other artificial intelligence solutions such as Spotlighting, Recommendation Uplift, Intelligent Closed Captioning, Content Search and Content Discovery. The United States Tennis Association is also getting help with regards to its cloud assets from IBM Cloud.