Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been making waves worldwide, including the internet. Machine-learning systems like ChatGPT have proven that they can be used for multiple tasks, including composing resumes, cover letters, and essays for students and many employees.
However, artificial intelligence is not just limited to software. In a viral video, engineers unveiled an AI bot that could shoot impressive three-pointers on the basketball court.
With this feat in mind, it’s safe to say that AI has untapped potential in a few industries, including the sports realm.
So, how can AI play a part in the sports industry?
The sports industry has many divisions. Since AI involves mimicking human intelligence and analyzing data, it can be used to make certain aspects easier and streamline processes.
Here are some roles in which AI can play in the sports industry:
1. Analyze performance.
AI Technology has the power to analyze various data in record time. Sports teams can use AI tech to analyze their training regimen, each player’s performance, and their odds in the upcoming game. Additionally, users can also use AI to analyze data from their opponents, thus helping them formulate potential strategies that can be adapted to improve their performance in the competition.
2. Used for the match prediction.
Sports betters may need help to pinpoint which team will win during a match. That instance is expected since the human brain cannot process multiple factors in record time.
However, due to its speed and efficiency, AI can help process data to “predict” the outcome of future matches. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that AI cannot be 100% accurate in its prediction, even though they have a better capacity to weigh in factors than human prediction.
3. Streamlines fan engagement.
The world is more socially online than ever before, and that’s because of the internet. AI can help streamline fan engagement in various ways, like providing real-time updates, answering questions quickly like a chatbot, and even offering personalized recommendations based on the fan’s preferences.
AI can also help in VR (virtual reality) technology by providing relevant data on how to make a fan’s experience more pleasant yet realistic. Many fans can even use virtual reality to “relive” some of the world’s most significant sports events as if they’ve been brought back to that exact date.
4. May help with refereeing and officiating.
Video Assistance Referee (VAR) Technology is a support tool for officials assigned to specific matches. In the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the VAR system was included in the Laws of the Game to help provide the referee’s decision-making process. The VAR team has access to multiple cameras, some in slow or super slow motion. These features help referees make judgments that could change the game’s pace. VAR tech has been adopted in various competitions worldwide thanks to its success.
5. Can be used to assist in training and development.
Most athletes must constantly train and test their bodies to ensure optimal performance. One aspect of helping reach this goal is to watch their diet and go on a training regimen. AI can help ease this process by providing personalized training and diet plans to help users achieve a specific goal.
Recent research shows promising results in using AI for weight training. The study aimed to illustrate the potential of AI techniques, where so far, it has shown good performance and prediction outcomes—thus, possibly showcasing AI’s usefulness in assessing performance on weight training equipment while also providing trainers with advice.
6. Streamline ticketing services for live events.
It’s exciting to watch a sports game live. However, human error can be costly, leading to refunds if the service could be more satisfactory. One ticketing issue is when fans cannot get to their seat on time thanks to inefficient security protocols.
AI can help streamline this process quickly. For instance, Columbus Crew’s Wicket utilizes facial recognition technology so fans can get to their seats before the game.
Wicket works as a facial ticketing platform where fans can upload their image and the barcode on their tickets to the game. Upon arrival at the stadium, fans will have their faces scanned by Wicket devices to let them pass through the gate without showing their paper or mobile tickets. This feature helps streamline the event, making it easier for security to handle crowd density.
Will Robotics Replace Athletes?
The panic of “robots taking over our jobs” has become an online issue for many people who don’t wish to be replaced in their jobs. However, while robotics and AI have impressed many people with their uses, it’s safe to say that physical prowess, reading the situation, and adapting to changing patterns quickly are some of the most complex skills to automate.
Additionally, many athletes may need to make snap judgments at the last minute. A basketball player who goes for a three-pointer may change tactics at the last minute to attempt a feint, thus tricking his opponent into moving in a way before he speeds by and scores a point via a layup. AI cannot make snap judgments or fake moves unless they are sentient.
Nevertheless, robotics may become a sport of its own. Robot soccer, robot combat, and robot racing are quickly gaining popularity, albeit most are still in the “testing phase” of their implementation.
- AI Technology has quickly become one of the most essential innovations in today’s world. Through data gathering, analysis, and prediction algorithms—AI can help streamline processes that humans need assistance in, particularly tasks requiring data analysis and repetitive tasks.
- AI can help athletes, trainers, fans, and the like by summarizing data and creating solutions in record time. They also provide virtual reality spaces, enabling fans to experience their favorite sport in a low-risk yet still realistic environment.
- While AI in sports is impressive, it will take a long time before a robot can replace LeBron James or Joel Embiid. The need to adapt to stress, formulate solutions on the fly, and create a compelling performance are just some things that AI cannot reproduce.