Planet Mainframe News

IBM watsonx Brings New Generative AI Capabilities to Masters Tournament Digital Platforms

If you watched the Masters Tournament over the weekend, you may have noticed some new fan features, brought to you by watsonx, and courtesy of a collaboration between experts from IBM Consulting, and the Masters digital team.

This year, fans had access to shot-by-shot Hole Insights offering detailed, data-driven projections and analysis for each hole on the course. In addition, IBM released  AI-enabled Spanish language narration as an expansion of its English-language AI Narration feature debuted in 2023.

IBM Hole Insights, joining the “Track Shots” experience on the 2024 website and  mobile apps, brought together natural language processing and structured data to generate detailed breakdowns of current and historical play, as well as projections of anticipated play, around any given hole, including:

  • Data-driven recaps of how each hole has played daily and throughout the 2024 Tournament (e.g., “The 14th hole has played difficult today, with 25% of shots resulting in bogies.”).
  • Projections of how each hole might play, based on past and current performance data (e.g., “The 9th hole is projected to be the third most difficult hole today.”).
  • Historical insights into how each hole has played, based on eight years of Tournament data – including more than 170,000 shots – and ball position on course (e.g., “Shots historically hit in this location have an 82% chance of resulting in a birdie.”).

“The generative AI power of watsonx is enabling IBM and the Augusta National Golf Club to co-create technology solutions that bring the magic of the Masters to life for millions of fans around the world,” said Jonathan Adashek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at IBM. 

Source: PR Newswire, IBM

UK’s HM Revenue and Customs to Switch Off Legacy CHIEF System

June 4, 2024 is the new (and apparently final) date that has been set for the end of CHIEF, the UK’s 30-year-old, proprietary legacy customs management system. Originally due to be replaced in January, 2019, the date for the switchover to the new Customs Declaration Service (CDS) system has been repeatedly pushed back.

The phasing out of CHIEF, which ran on the VME O/S on Fujitsu hardware, has been fraught. The original plan to upgrade CHIEF (rather than focusing on CDS functionality) caused huge expenditure of time and money and was widely panned by the National Audit Office.

The problem of public agencies continuing to rely on legacy systems that have not been properly updated or replaced has been the subject of much press coverage in the UK in recent years. One whistleblower (a former civil servant) told the TaxPayer’s Alliance:

“The problem is so bad that some of these systems could be taken down by an enthusiastic child—the vulnerabilities are publicly known, and pre-made malware is readily available. It keeps me awake at night worrying that at any moment, a key HMRC system or a hospital might get taken down because we have not got the most basic protections in place.”

HMRC told Computing: “The Customs Declaration Service is the UK’s new single customs platform, a modern, secure IT platform supporting businesses to make import and export declarations into and out of the UK. All other customs-related systems have been integrated into CDS and will function as they did with CHIEF.”

Sources: Computing, HMRC

Mainframerz Meetups

Formed in 2018, Mainframerz is a community of app devs, sys progs, and anyone else with an interest in Z Systems and the mainframe. The group started as a London-based group but since Covid has focused efforts on running online events, typically once a quarter, where anyone can join from around the world.

You can join from anywhere for talks, networking, demos, panels, discussions, and workshop events. Get to know like-minded people who are also passionate about the mainframe (and if you can join the group in London in person, pizza has been promised)!

A replay of the most recent Mainframerz Meetup, which took place on March 14th, takes a look at “Different Flavours of COBOL.” You can also take a look at this 30 second video on Linkedin to get a taster of what goes on at the events.

Sonja Soderlund is an Oregon-based B2B freelance writer. Whether writing about mainframe computers, educational technology, or sustainable retail, she strives to bring clarity to complex issues. Connect with her at or LinkedIn.

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