IBM and the Masters Tournament today announced several new fan features coming to the Masters app and digital experience for this year’s event.

Powered by generative AI (GenAI) capabilities built from IBM’s AI and data platform watsonx, fans this year will have access to shot-by-shot Hole Insights offering detailed, data-driven projections and analysis for each hole on course.

In addition, IBM will release AI-enabled Spanish language narration as an expansion of its English-language AI Narration feature debuted in 2023.

These new capabilities – a product of collaboration between experts from IBM Consulting, and the Masters digital team – aim to deliver a more personalised and engaging digital viewing experience for millions of new and existing golf fans around the world following the Masters Tournament action from 11 to 14 April.

IBM Hole Insights, joining the “Track Shots” experience on the 2024 website and mobile apps, brings together natural language processing and structured data to generate detailed breakdowns of current and historical play, as well as projections of anticipated play, around any given hole, including:

* Data-driven recaps of how each hole has played daily and throughout the 2024 Tournament (for example: “The 14th hole has played difficult today, with 25% of shots resulting in bogies.”).

* Projections of how each hole might play, based on past and current performance data (for example:, “The 9th hole is projected to be the third most difficult hole today.”).

* Historical insights into how each hole has played, based on eight years of Tournament data – including more than 170 000 shots – and ball position on course (for example: “Shots historically hit in this location have an 82% chance of resulting in a birdie.”).

Hole Insights marks the first time that fans can receive insights based on live Tournament shots directly on the Masters website.

IBM is also debuting Spanish language narration. IBM and the Masters first introduced AI Narration last year to provide automated audio and closed caption commentary for on-demand highlight videos of every shot on every hole – approximately 20 000 over the course of the Tournament. Now, fans will have access to the same narration in both Spanish audio and closed caption forms.

Fans following highlight videos on 2024 Masters app and website can use the English and Spanish narration interchangeably and simultaneously, as desired. For example, watching Tournament play while receiving English audio narration, with Spanish closed captions overlaid, and vice versa.

Powering this new feature is a combination of GenAI and large language models (LLMs) built on watsonx. Moving beyond simple English-to-Spanish translation, a team of IBM engineers and subject matter experts through a process known as few shot learning trained the AI model to natively “understand” and “communicate” in Spanish to deliver authentic audio and closed captioning narration experiences to Spanish-speaking fans.

“The generative AI power of watsonx is enabling IBM and the Augusta National Golf Club to co-create technology solutions that bring the magic of the Masters to life for millions of fans around the world,” says Jonathan Adashek, senior vice-president of marketing and communications at IBM.

“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. 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.”