Watson Uses Experimental Technology to Create New Experience for Golf Fans

The prestigious Masters golf tournament at Augusta National Golf Club had a different look this year for the folks fortunate enough to experience Watson’s version: a fully immersive, 270-degree video that brought fans closer to the action than ever before.

IBM’s Watson, a supercomputer, combined machine learning, visual recognition, and speech-to-text to create a cognitive computing experience inside a 12-by-20-foot room that recognizes people when they walk in, listens to the conversation in the room, and surrounds its inhabitants with information that “educates, informs, and enhances the overall experience.”

“With Watson, the room itself becomes an active participant in the action, tailoring the lighting, sound and experience to suit the audience’s needs,” says IBM. “It can even contribute relevant information that advances the conversation.”

The technology used to create this cognitive space at the Masters is beyond cutting edge; some of it is downright experimental. [This technology] is able to take raw, unstructured data from sensors such as microphones or cameras, and intuitively send it to the appropriate Watson service, allowing the cognitive space to interact with the user.