Every Sunday, the biggest game in the country
doesn’t take place on the gridiron. It happens in the ESPN Fantasy App. Over 10 million people use the ESPN Fantasy App
during football season, and that means billions of minutes in time
spent playing our games. But Fantasy sports is more than just a game. For many football fans, it keeps them connected
to friends and family and is the primary way they enjoy the football season. Fantasy sports are an incredibly important,
and fun way that we serve sports fans. Our fantasy games drive tremendous consumption
across ESPN digital properties. And they drive tune-in to our events and studio shows. But our users have a a lot of different ways
they can spend their time. So we have to continuously improve our game
so they choose to spend that time with us. So ESPN teamed up with IBM to add a powerful new feature
to their fantasy football platform. Fantasy football generates a huge volume of content; articles, blogs, videos, podcasts. We call it “unstructured data.” Data that don’t fit neatly into spreadsheets or databases. Watson was built to analyze that kind of information
and turn it into usable insights. We trained Watson on millions of fantasy football
stories, blog posts, and videos. We taught it to develop a scoring range for
thousands of players. Their upsides and their downsides. And we taught it to estimate the chances
a player will exceed their upside. Or fall below their downside. Watson even assesses a player’s
positive or negative media buzz. This is a big win for our fantasy football players. It’s one more tool to help them decide which
running back or QB to start each week. And it’s a great complement to the
award-winning analysts our fans rely on. As with any machine learning, the system
gets smarter all the time. That means the insights are better, which means our users can make better decisions and have a
better chance to win their matchup everyweek. The more successful our fantasy players are,
the more time they’ll spend with us. The ESPN-IBM partnership is
a great vehicle to demonstrate the power of enterprise-grade AI to millions of people. And it’s not hard to see how this
same technology applies to real life. There are thousands of business scenarios where you’re
assessing value and making tradeoffs. This is what the future of decision-making
is going to look like. Man and machine working together. Assessing risk and reward.
Working through difficult decisions. This is the same technology IBM uses to help doctors
mine millions of pages of medical research. And investment banks, find market moving insights. IBM is changing the game,
and changing the world. Let’s put smart to work.