IBM Watson and 'AI-curated' debates offer a new take on the Grammy experience

The 63rd Grammy Awards are set to air on Sunday, March 14. An online solution allows fans from around the globe to participate in music-centric debates.

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Image: iStock/JelenaDanilovic

On Sunday, March 14, the 63rd Grammy Awards are scheduled to take place, and, similar to other recent large in-person events, this year's ceremony will also be conducted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. IBM Watson and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities could enhance the fan experience with data-driven online debates.

"The launch of GRAMMY Debates with Watson gives GRAMMY viewers an entirely new way to engage with fellow music lovers and be a part of the conversation. It's great to continue innovating our digital and fan experiences with IBM and to explore how AI and cloud technology can be applied to make our awards show more interactive for viewers," said Lisa Farris, chief marketing and innovation officer at the Recording Academy.

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On March 2, IBM launched a "digital fan experience" called Grammy Debates with Watson which the company said will air throughout the Grammy Awards. Additionally, IBM said that it was transitioning its Grammy Backstage digital environment to "seamlessly host" a variety of coverage including the preshow, premiere ceremony and more.

Grammy Debates with Watson exists as an "AI-curated" multi-week event allowing fans worldwide to detail their "individual points of view" in conversations about music, according to the release, and an online portal on Grammy.com allows fans to include 36-word summaries (with an eight-word minimum) to participate. IBM Watson will process these input debate data and delivers what the company calls "conclusions" to provide "analysis on the submissions in real time."

Grammy Debates with Watson uses Key Point Analysis to assess information uploaded on Grammy.com to "identify the most prevalent points and main topics of the submissions" and natural language generation capabilities create "cohesive pro and con narratives on each of the topics," according to IBM. Additionally, the tool will analyze posts across social media platforms to "help inform" these various debates, the release said.

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"Our work with the Recording Academy is another example of how we're applying IBM's cutting-edge technology to revolutionize the entertainment industry and bring clients innovative and compelling experiences for their key audiences," said Noah Syken, vice president of sports and entertainment partnerships at IBM.

"These are the same core technologies--hybrid cloud and AI--that we're using to drive digital transformation for clients around the world," Syken continued.

This is the fourth year that IBM and the Recording Studio have partnered for the event.

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