Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for April 4th, 2018

The Masters Moments

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We’re less than 24 hours away from the most eagerly anticipated Masters golf tournament in recent years.

My journey there last year to see it all live and in person was the opportunity of a lifetime, and a memory I’ll cherish forever.

For a rabid golf fan, it’s the planet around which all other competitions orbit.

But you don’t have to go there in person to appreciate the drama and the beauty of Augusta National.

IBM has partnered with The Masters for 20+ years on the technology used to bring the tournament into a digital experience, and each year the capabilities just get more fascinating.

This year, fans will once again be able to follow the action both on the www.masters.com web site as well as via the Masters Tournament app.

What to look out for this year:

  • LIVE simulcast of broadcast coverage Thursday through Sunday
  • Additional live video streams, including of tournament play at Amen Corner and Featured Groups
  • Masters on the Range — watch the warmups!
  • A “Spoiler Free” mode that will allow you to turn off score-related notifications
  • Shot Tracking Feature — A way to follow each shot on the course, following any player and view every shot, in real time. But don’t let your boss see (unless they’re a golf fan!)

IBM is also putting Watson back to work at The Masters, this time with a “My Moments” capability that uses Watson’s AI magic to create a personalized highlight reel.

This new feature can help you catch up on the great shots of the tournament that you might have missed from your favorite players, as well as the most important shots of the day.

How will it work?  IBM’s AI assistant will “watch” all live-stream video, then parse out clips by recognizing the start and end of a player’s shot.

It will identify the player, the hole they’re playing, and then determine how highlight-worthy the shot is by examining three key vectors: The audio track of the crowd, player gestures (fist pumps, hands in the air, facial emotions, etc.), and a transcription of the broadcast commentary (which Watson will then analyze to highlight emotive keywords).

All this will help the Masters digital team move faster and get the best clips to the global golf audience as quickly as possible.

I have a hunch it’s going to be a Masters for the ages…don’t miss a moment of it (or, at least, the key moments)!

You can download the iOS version of The Masters app here and the Android version here.

Written by turbotodd

April 4, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Posted in 2018, golf, PGA, pga tour

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The Assault on YouTube

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I got news of the tragic shooting at YouTube yesterday afternoon probably just an hour or so after Nasim Najafi Aghdam started her shooting spree the company’s San Bruno HQ’s outside lunch area.

My heart goes out to everyone in the YouTube family, and the community of San Bruno and the surrounding area, who were impacted by this ghastly attack.

I can’t remember where I first heard or saw it — it may have been Twitter.

But all I could remember thinking was, “Here we go…again.”

At first, coverage suggested it was a disgruntled girlfriend in a domestic dispute.

But now BuzzFeed News has reported that Ms. Aghdam, who had been a prolific social media contributor generally and YouTube contributor specifically, had previously alleged the company had “discriminated and filtered” her videos. Her father was quoted as saying she “hated” the company.

And though San Bruno police were quoted in the story as saying that “at this time there is no evidence that the shooter knew the victims of this shooting or that individuals were specifically targeted,” it hardly seems an accident that she landed on the doorstep of YouTube’s HQ.

So that’s where we’ve arrived now?!

Your videos get de-listed on YouTube, so you pack up the car and the handgun and drive north from San Diego to San Bruno and start shooting up the place?

Has our lust for attention and recognition via social media reached so far beyond the pale that it has now begun to exceed our collective humanity and civility?

I understand that Ms. Aghdam was very likely a disturbed individual, by definition. Yet to carry out such an act for the most mundane of grievances…well, we’ve reached a new low.

And from Ms. Aghdam’s highlt distorted view, this grievance was likely attributable to some unnamed, unfaced human editor(s) at YouTube.

But what happens in our brave new world when it wasn’t expressly a human that decided the fate of her videos, but an algorithm built by humans?

Who are the disgruntled Ms. Aghdam’s of the world going to go after then?

I’m not sure there is a good or bad or right or wrong answer, but it’s  a question we’re going to have to start asking ourselves and soon.

Because I expect the wider the widening gulf between the machines making seemingly indiscriminate decisions and the humans affected by those decisions, the higher velocity of such attacks.

Written by turbotodd

April 4, 2018 at 9:45 am

Posted in 2018, video

Tagged with ,

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