AI and the Future of Sports

Posted by Risav Rana on Jan. 8, 2020, 9:43 p.m.

“The key to artificial intelligence has always been the representation.”
Jeff Hawkins

In this modern era AI is an effective tool which improves computer functions which are related to human knowledge e.g. reasoning, learning, and problem-solving. Approach to AI includes methods of statistics, computational intelligence and coding. The applications of AI are vast. Some of these applications are Natural Language Processing, Expert Systems, Vision Systems, Speech Recognition, Intelligent Robots and many more. But one of the fields in which AI is already being used is in the field of sports. Some existing applications of AI in sports are:

  • Chatbots: Sports teams are using virtual assistants to respond to fan inquiries across a wide range of topics including live game information, team stats and arena logistics.
  • Automated Journalism: Media outlets are leveraging AI-driven automation to expand their sports coverage capabilities and increase revenue.
  • Wearable Tech: Companies are using AI in conjunction with IoT devices to gather data to attempt to optimize training and performance.

The applications of artificial intelligence in sports have become a common sight in recent years. Considering the positive impact, they’ve brought about through their growing capabilities, they will continue to make inroads into the realm of sports. Following are a few areas in sports where artificial intelligence is set to become a centerpiece component:

  • Scouting and Recruitment: Although humans are far from being evaluable using objective, quantitative functions, their performances can definitely be subject to quantitative follow up. Sports teams are increasingly using players’ individual performance data as a measure of fit and potential. With the implementation of big data and artificial intelligence in sports management, the process of detecting, analyzing and measuring these indicators of future success is becoming easier and more reliable. AI uses earlier data to predict the future potential of players before investing in them. It can also be used to estimate players’ market values to make the right offers while acquiring new talent.
  • Training and Performance Analysis: To calculate performances in any sport, analysts and coaches need to analyse a vast amount of data points involving individual players and collective performances. This helps them to identify the areas where players excel and those where they lag. Depending on the role of the individual players on a team, the functions to assess their contribution varies. Although not all aspects of performance can be quantified, a growing part of a player’s game is becoming quantifiable and hence, measurable. This is possible by using artificial intelligence to derive correlations between qualitative traits and quantitative variables, and then measuring those variables to predict the corresponding qualitative value of players. AI can also be used to identify patterns in opponents’ tactics, strengths and weaknesses while preparing for games. This helps coaches to devise detailed game lans based on their assessment of the opposition and maximize the likelihood
    of victory.
  • Broadcasting and Streaming: AI can also revolutionize live broadcasting and impact the way the audience experiences sports. AI is also set to change the way broadcasters monetize sporting events. Based on the events on the field, AI systems can be used for automatically choosing the right camera angle to display on the viewers’ screens. It can automatically provide subtitles for live events in different languages based on the viewer’s location and language preferences. Artificial intelligence systems can also be used to identify the right opportunities to present ads based on crowd excitement levels in sporting arenas, enabling broadcasters to effectively utilize monetization opportunities through ad sales.

In conclusion we can say that AI has a multitude of applications in sports which are effective and useful in improving computer functionality. AI has simplified and transformed the conventional sports system into a manageable and simpler system by using statistical methods and reasoning statements. Thus we see that AI and sports will go a long way together.