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International Business Machines Corporation IBM recently announced that it will be leveraging its artificial intelligence ("AI") capabilities of Watson as well as open hybrid cloud architecture, to provide tennis fans with enriched experiences.
United States Tennis Association (“USTA”) is conducting this year’s US Open without fans present at the stadium due to the coronavirus outbreak. Markedly, the US Open 2020 will be held from Aug 31 to Sep 13.
Nevertheless, USTA, with IBM’s help, will provide fans with an interactive and engaging digital experience to enjoy the tournament. IBM has been USTA’s technology partner for almost three decades.
In this coronavirus crisis induced spectator-less sports era, fans are glued to updates on their teams or sports clubs almost 24/7. Thereby, AI is increasingly being leveraged to transform fan experience by enhancing engagement methodologies and making it immersive.
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IBM’s bid to integrate AI into sports systems’ is in sync with its strategy to go beyond fan engagement to influencing players with robust strategies. These innovative solutions aided by IBM Watson poises the company well in gaining momentum.
Innovative Solutions For Fans
IBM will be deploying the Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities of Watson to initiate debates on variety of tennis topics on USOpen.org to bring together fans from across the globe to share their opinions.
Moreover, the company will be utilizing Watson Discovery to analyse news and sports sources for insights and then using its Watson Research technology, the data will be analyzed and summarized for use as pro and con opinions.
Also, the Watson Discovery feature will scan articles to gather insights about the players and translate earlier statistics into narratives to provide fans with most relevant information about the players before the commencement of the match.
The most exciting part of watching any live sporting event is the sound of the spectators that reverberates in the stadium. To make the digital experience as good as the sitting-in-the-stadium experience, IBM will deploy its AI Highlights technology to recreate stadium sounds by studying recorded sounds from prior tournaments.
IBM’s Red Hat Open Shift cloud platform will support the complex workloads and facilitate the innovative solutions. The hybrid cloud architecture will assist USTA to operate digitally with tremendous flexibility. Hybrid cloud architecture will also ensure the highest safety for USTA’s offerings.
Abundant Growth Opportunities Bode Well
COVID-19-induced remote working and stay-at-home trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. With live sporting events’ trend disrupted, the sporting events are getting a digital recreation. This has resulted in higher adoption of AI, cloud, and other such technologies.
Per an IDC report, worldwide spending on AI systems is estimated to reach more than $110 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 20.1% from 2019 to 2024.
Strong AI capabilities of IBM Watson position it well to facilitate digital overhaul of various sports organizations and clubs with enhanced player and fan engagement, especially during these unprecedented times.
Notably, in 2019, IBM developed an AI-powered technology solution, Coach Advisor to help coaches to analyze and improve the performance of the players. IBM Watson AI capabilities have also been deployed by The All England Lawn Tennis Club (“AELTC”) to augment engagement for Wimbledon fans.
Given IBM Watson’s growing popularity, we anticipate seeing more adoptions of this kind in the future. This is expected to have a positive impact on the company’s top line.
Nevertheless, stiff competition is a persistent concern. IBM’s cloud computing peers, including Microsoft MSFT, Amazon AMZN, and Oracle ORCL are leaving no stone unturned to strengthen AI capabilities via acquisitions and product enhancements.
Also, coronavirus crisis-induced sluggish spending across small and medium businesses owing to restricted economic activity, globally, is likely to put pressure on adoption of IBM's cognitive and AI applications.
IBM currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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