IBM's AI Brings Data-Driven Insights and Spanish Narration to the Masters


The Masters Tournament holds a special place in golf history, and here’s why.

Unlike other majors played on different courses each year, the Masters unfolds on the iconic Augusta National. Its beauty, with blooming azaleas, Amen Corner's drama and Rae's Creek, becomes instantly recognizable and creates a sense of tradition.

Fans have seen champions like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer cemented their legacies here, adding a layer of prestige that transcends generations of fans. And we can’t forget Tiger Woods' dominant win at 21 in 1997 to his emotional comeback victory in 2019.

Winning the Masters isn't just about the trophy. It's about slipping on the coveted green jacket, a symbol of achievement unlike any other in golf. This unique tradition adds to the mystique and allure of the tournament.

No question the Masters holds onto cherished traditions. However, it also embraces innovation, ensuring the course remains challenging for the best golfers in the world while making the fan experience one to never forget.

To continue doing that, the Masters Tournament and IBM announced new features for the 2024 Masters app and, powered by IBM's AI and data platform, watsonX. These features aim to personalize and enhance the digital viewing experience for fans worldwide during the 2024 Masters.

A new feature called Hole Insights, integrated with the "Track Shots" experience, utilizes natural language processing and historical data to provide fans with real-time and historical breakdowns of play on each hole. This includes:

  • Daily and tournament-long performance: Fans can see data-driven summaries of how a hole has played, such as the percentage of shots resulting in bogies on a particular day.
  • Playing projections: Based on past and current data, Hole Insights will project how difficult a hole might be to play.
  • Historical context: Leveraging eight years of tournament data and shot locations, Hole Insights offers historical insights into each hole's play. For example, it might show the historical birdie percentage for shots from a specific location.

Hole Insights offers fans real-time insights based on live tournament shots directly on the Masters website.

Also, building on the success of AI Narration introduced in 2023, IBM will expand its AI capabilities to include Spanish narration. This feature provides automated audio commentary and closed captions in Spanish for on-demand highlight videos of every shot on every hole. Fans can choose between English and Spanish narration or use them simultaneously with English audio narration and Spanish closed captions, or vice versa.

The new Spanish narration leverages generative AI and large language models built on watsonX. IBM engineers trained the AI model to understand and communicate in Spanish naturally to create that authentic experience for Spanish-speaking fans.

“From training and tuning to monitoring and maintenance, watsonx manages the entire lifecycle of the AI models used to create features such as AI Narration and Hole Insights,” said Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at IBM. “These are the same capabilities we're applying to our work with businesses across industries as they aim to build better customer care experiences, reach new levels of productivity and make more informed, data-driven business decisions."

These new features, developed through collaboration between IBM Consulting experts and the Masters digital team, will, as Adashek said, “bring the magic of the Masters to life for millions of fans around the world."

Edited by Alex Passett
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TechZone360 Editor

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