Tennis ball bouncing on the net at a clay court.jpegDid you see Wimbledon, or attend this year? You can’t help but have noticed that the technology was front and centre, and more so than ever this year...

IBM’s Watson unleashed its latest concierge offering via Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the form of Ask Fred, a chatbot. I say chatbot, but it was actually unveiled as a Cognitive Assistant.

There was Augmented Reality, 360 Degree cameras, real-time everything!! It makes one wonder where will it all stop? And also, what these innovations will mean to us mere mortals in business and life in general.

For Wimbledon visitors, it seems that whatever they wanted to know, the answers were quite literally in their hands. Ask Fred where to eat, where to buy a souvenir towel was the basic end of the help provided. I’m pretty sure that ‘where are the closest loos?’ was up there in the popularity stakes!

Watson was also responsible for the rapid selecting and creation of highlight sequences, based on a number of key data including player movement and crowd noise. And when we say rapid, we’re talking about highlights packages available within minutes of the end of the game.

Speaking of which, the players themselves also benefitted from this technology. Within minutes of their game ending, players were in receipt of a complete analysis of every shot, every point and everything in between. Not only were they able to review that particular performance, but to compare and contrast against prior matches.

My favourite innovation was the help in selecting the best matches to watch based on a raft of performance and behavioural statistics. This was called the ‘Competitive Margin’ metric. You want to see a landslide victory? See this match. Prefer a tooth and nail, edge of seat, potential epic? Go to Court 3. Not bothered and want the bar? Go to this one.

As if all that’s not enough, facial recognition helped fans to know who was who. I’m not sure that was needed on Centre Court, but you get the point. It’s always nice to put a face to a name!

And the other amazing thing about all this? There were no reports of technological failures. None. Just think how many scenarios were catered for, and the pressure to keep the whole operation running, without a pause, for the entire two weeks.

Yes, we know you have to do that in your business every single day, but we can’t help but be mightily impressed!

And if you haven’t realised it, Cognitive Computing is well and truly upon us. Truly exciting times.

Celerity Limited

Written by Celerity Limited