Here's how IBM's Watson is aiming to kick our asses on social media

Watson - currently serving up Wimbledon

IBM has outlined how it's using its AI Watson to beat us all to the punch on the likes of Twitter and Facebook with the goal of capturing the attention of the ever-mysterious millennial.

Watson is already doing some remarkable stuff in the realms of medical data, but the much-heralded artificial intelligence project is still probably best known for beating us mere mortal humans at US game show Jeopardy.

However, Watson is currently turning its attention to the goings on at the All English Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, and owning social media is very much on his agenda.

Strawberries and cream

IBM's Sam Seddon explained that Watson is perfectly placed to dominate in this world, not least because he's not limited by all that meat and brain matter.

"The challenge that we're addressing here is 'how do you get a millennial to take an action within a six second window to interact with my social media rather than anyone else's?.

"There's a limited opportunity window you have with young people on social media - people skim at speed and you do need the right content there that people see at the right point of time.

"That's where something like the Watson capability helps us, because we're using the cognitive solutions and capabilities of Watson to understand the reasons behind what is happening in the world of social media around sport and particularly around Wimbledon.


"So the command centre is looking at Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram and saying 'what are the evolving topics of conversation and what are people looking at right now in this moment?'"

And that means not just nailing down what's happening on the hallowed grass courts but also joining the dots to other sporting events and world happenings.

Want an example? IBM tells us that when ESPN viewers got upset over Wimbledon viewing being interrupted on their channel by Major League Baseball news that ended in a rant from one of the TV commentators, Watson was pretty much the first to it.

We, for one, bow down to our robot overlord.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.