Noah Syken, Vice President, Sports and Entertainment Partnerships, IBM

In 1992, I was a senior at the University of Miami enjoying my last semester before graduating and soaking up the glory of the Miami Hurricanes’ National College Football Championship. I was his 22 and didn’t really care about the world outside of Florida.

But around that time, a series of events happened that would have a huge impact on my future. Tim Berners-Lee had just invented something called the World Wide Web, and IBM had just signed its first contract to be its technology partner. US Open Tennis Championships.

I share this history because today, almost 30 years later, I work at IBM and my team develops and develops digital experiences for the US Open via the same World Wide Web (and now apps). because it provides And last week, IBM and the United States Tennis Association announced a renewal of his five-year relationship.

In other industries, 30 years is a long time. In the tech industry, it’s forever. This is a sector defined by turmoil, so after signing a renewal contract last month, I took some time to consider how our business relationships would hold up in 30 years of constant change.

In fact, almost everything about IBM’s partnership with the USTA has changed in the last 30 years. From building websites to developing mobile apps to using hybrid clouds and AI, the nature of work is evolving. The people managing the relationship on both sides have also changed. The game of tennis itself has also changed, from equipment to surfaces to his style of play.

tennis ball gif

Provided by IBM

But what has endured is trust. Of course, trust is rooted in the work itself. But more than that, it’s important to cultivate honest relationships. Communicate clearly and openly. My team has this relationship with people like USTA CEO Lou Shah, Chief His Commercial Officer Kirsten Coriot, Managing Corporate Partnerships His Director Dian Pownall.

This brings us to the work we’ve been doing at this year’s US Open.Like last year, we’re using hybrid cloud and AI to transform tennis data into Match Insights with Watson. Watson uses the IBM Power Index to measure player momentum and shares predictions about each player’s odds of winning. But this year, we introduced something new called Win Factors that demonstrate Explainable AI. This means we break down the black boxes of AI analytics and share the real reasons behind Watson’s odds of winning.

why? Well, it’s just good content for the 10 million people he has on the digital platform of the US Open. However, it is very important for businesses to understand why AI reaches certain conclusions. Especially as more companies rely on AI-driven decision-making. One problem is that we don’t understand why AI algorithms display unique ads in social media feeds. Not understanding why AI algorithms deny insurance claims to valued customers is another thing altogether.

Like our partnership with the US Open, Explainable AI represents one of IBM’s core values: trust and personal responsibility in all relationships. This is not wide-eyed altruism. It’s a clear business strategy. Trust makes our brand shine, trust attracts talent, and trust keeps our business relationships alive.

As a fresh out of college 30 years ago, I knew nothing of this. But meanwhile, as I was enjoying my last summer in South Beach, someone, somewhere, was laying the groundwork for a long-lasting relationship that I would one day inherit. We’re in Queens – a little smarter, greyer – and grateful to be moving forward with this enduring partnership.

This post was created by IBM using Insider Studios.


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