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IBM Brings watsonx to ESPN Fantasy Football with New Waiver Grades and Trade Grades

"The watsonx technology that IBM leverages to help fantasy managers make more informed and data driven decisions through tools like Waiver Grades and Trade Grades is the same AI technology that business leaders across all industries can use to reap the wide-ranging benefits of AI."


IBM (NYSE: IBM) recently announced updates and new features made in collaboration with ESPN to the ESPN Fantasy Football app, putting the power of artificial intelligence technology built on IBM's watsonx in the hands of over 11 million fantasy football users.


New this year, Waiver Grades will give available players in your league's waiver wire a personalized grade for the value they can add to your team. This feature will compare a potential player's grade to the average grade of players in the same position already on your roster. Similarly, the Trade Grades feature will evaluate the personalized potential benefits of trades.


Waiver Grades and Trade Grades use advanced Large Language Models within watsonx - IBM's enterprise focused data and AI platform - to deliver insights on football players each week and classify the sentiment. This AI generated classification, coupled with machine learning algorithms analyzing player performance stats, helps to remove bias and uncover new insights from troves of unstructured and structured data.


"With watsonx, we continue to push the boundaries of what AI can bring to user experiences such as fantasy sports," said Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at IBM. "The watsonx technology that IBM leverages to help fantasy managers make more informed and data driven decisions through tools like Waiver Grades and Trade Grades is the same AI technology that business leaders across all industries can use to reap the wide-ranging benefits of AI."


Player Insights powered by AI built with watsonx will also return this year to help ESPN Fantasy Football players make sense of matchups, analyze players' boom or bust chances, and assess the impact of injuries on their rosters.


For seven consecutive years, IBM's collaboration with ESPN Fantasy Football has leveraged IBM's technology including IBM Watson Discovery and now adds AI built with watsonx to help users make more informed decisions. These powerful AI models – built with the help of watsonx.ai, which allows AI builders to train, validate and tune AI and foundation models – transform football data into insights which help fantasy team owners set their lineups. IBM Consulting works side-by-side with ESPN, using trustworthy watsonx models to scale these unique insights and tools as part of the digital experiences in the ESPN Fantasy Football app.

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