Microsoft and NBA will create ‘virtual fans’ by using AI


Microsoft and the NBA said they have joined forces to put ‘virtual’ fans in the stands of each game using Microsoft’s Teams app and giant screens. The two will equip each game court with 17-foot-tall LED screens that wrap three sides of the arena. The virtual stands will be filled with fans who use the Teams app to log in and sit alongside each other using a new feature of the app called ‘Together mode’ meant to simulate a group of people sitting in a room. NBA officials said audio from the virtual fans will be played in the arena and televised. Virtual seats will be limited to 320 fans, a number based on the size of the venue and screens. Fans will be selected by the home teams, and each team is working to decide how to handle the selections.