Deion Sanders isn't someone that you could connect with the latest technology on display at Microsoft's Ignite conference, where thousands of IT nerds geek out in Atlanta, but that's where he was.
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He walked on stage during the keynote presentation to help Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO,s how off a fantasy football advice bot that is said to use "the future of computing" in its artificial intelligence. Nadella brought the two-sport athlete out because he is beloved in the city.
“I made it!” Deion Sanders said after being introduced on stage by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Sanders, who now does sports anaylsis for CBS and NFL, joined Nadella as the CEO went through a brief demo on how the bot will help create the highest-scoring team each week.
The bot was built into Skype and uses things like Bing predictions to recommend the optimal lineup for fantasy football players. Nadella says it will make it "more fun and data-driven.”
For example, the bot looked at two different quarterbacks facing off on Monday night: Matt Ryan from the Falcons and Drew Brees from the Saints.
“I like Matt Ryan, but I love Drew Brees,” Sanders quipped, going through want many fantasy players do. “The Atlanta secondary isn’t good, but when you think about Drew Brees, if they’re losing, he’s going to get more opportunities to throw. He may receive more fantasy points.”
The bot then said that the Saints would win and Brees would score more points because of the covered arena, according to Geek Wire.
“Well, you know, I played for Atlanta and it’s kind of hard for me to pick Drew Brees over Matt Ryan,” Sanders said. “I played two sports right here. But I like what they’re saying. That’s a pretty good summary.”
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There is a large base for this technology. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association estimated that over 58 million people in the US and Canada alone played fantasy sports in 2015. The numbers keep growing and those who play do spend quite a bit of money.