Sport and artificial intelligence today
To date, technology is already making an impact in the sports world on several levels:
- 1. It is helping match judges and referees to apply the rules correctly, becoming the all-seeing eye when they are not able to be (e.g. VAR in football, Video Check in volleyball) and giving them, in many ways, the elements to evaluate and decide in the fairest and most impartial way possible;
- 2. It is offering athletes measurement and analysis tools that can evaluate their performance and improve, as well as keep track of the work done and the goals achieved;
- 3. It is expanding the multimedia audience, bringing the sport to be enjoyed on different platforms and connecting the key players and their teams with the public and fans, while at the same time simplifying access to the sports facilities, thanks to electronic tickets, and improving their enjoyment of the show, with large screens mounted on site and other supports of "augmented vision", which make the experience more similar to the sports one, which is unparalleled live in terms of quality of vision.
Starting from this already excellent basis, future developments would seem not to have much to offer, but it isn’t the case. Behind all this innovation there is still room for further improvements that are unimaginable today, which will raise the bar again and continue to amaze us.
The future of sport and Artificial Intelligence
The analysis of the data will no longer serve only to obtain a static and two-dimensional picture of what has been done, but to cross reference a huge amount of data, much of which is external (e.g. climatic conditions, plant conditions, materials used, environmental interference of various kinds) and to intertwine it with those of other athletes, other competitions, different contexts and different combinations of parameters.
The massive use of Artificial Intelligence will bring about major changes at multiple levels of sport.
If the technology we have today allows us to slightly shift our gaze towards the future starting from the data of the past, then what we will soon be able to do will be to use a much larger amount of data in real time to predict the future and act quickly as a result.
What should we expect from the future of sport and AI?
- 1. Apply the rules in a predictive way, preventing behaviors and attitudes that put at risk the regularity of the competition or that can damage other athletes, identifying in advance the possible risks (e.g. blatant simulations, use of doping);
- 2. Provide coaches and technicians with information in real time, thanks to the analysis of data coming from training sessions and their cross-referencing with many other sources of information, directly on the field and at the same time as the athletes are trying a race or performance, in real time and with a level of customization that has been unthinkable until now;
- 3. Have strategic analyses on a mathematical and statistical basis which is able to guide the choices of the technicians and to identify exactly the schemes and actions that give the best results (because this happened in the past or in scenario simulations carried out on future opponents and races);
- 4. Interact better with supporters and the public, offering an increasingly better experience and aligning the offer with their expectations, also in commercial terms (e.g. proposals for packages and subscriptions in real time if they are exalted by the team or athlete for whom they are cheering, discounts and gifts if they are disappointed, personalised experiences).
How will sport change with Artificial intelligence?
In the future, therefore, they will continue to increase the number of shows, to rediscover the taste for play and sport through strategies that will necessarily have to consider the commercial aspects of sports disciplines, pursuing performance and entertainment as two important pillars that cannot disregard each other.