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Sport has always been a fascinating field for me, both as a technologist and as an entrepreneur. As far as my knowledge in this field goes, this industry needs more AI driven innovative solutions than any other industry. India has still an unorganised sports sector where sports solution providers mainly focus on traditional approach of providing sports solutions from product distributions to infrastructure management. A very few organisations are focusing on innovation in this field.
In this blog, I am sharing some examples of AI which is being used in sport.
There are a very few things in this universe which can’t be quantified. And the things that can be quantified can be predicted with precision using data analytics and AI and sport is abundant with such quantifiable data elements which sets a clear roadmap for AI to enter in this area. Following are the main areas where AI can play an important role.
Scouting and Recruitment
Scouting and recruitment can be an area where the artificial intelligence can play a significant role. Human process of selection of a team is subjected to quantitative scrutiny. Today, sports teams are using quantifiable complex data to measure players’ performance. Through multiple layers of processing, it is possible to predict the outcome of a player during an actual match. When I am saying performance data, it does not mean only scores, runs, goals or catches etc but more complex data which accounts multiple factors including physical fitness and mental stability. Perceptual human involvement can keep these data more accurate to reach more accurate prediction. With the entry of data analytics and AI in sports management, the process of recording and measuring quantifiable indicators of future success is becoming easier and more reliable. AI can use past data of a sporting event, which is well documented, 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
Performance analysis generally involve measuring general metrics of a player including goals scored, passes made, runs scored, catches taken etc. But this data is often insufficient to measure a player’s performance. To gauge a player’s performance in any sport, coaches, analysts and management needs to focus on analyzing a multitude of data points pertaining to individual performance and collective team performance. This will help them to access where players excels and where they lag. Data based on players’ role can also be taken into consideration as players performance also varies based on their role. For an example in case of cricket, the key performance indicators of Openers are different than that of 5th down batsman. Although not all aspects of performance can be quantified as of now, but a growing parts of a player’s game is now quantifiable and hence measurable and predictable using AI. AI can bring correlations between players 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 match approach based on their assessment of the opposition and maximize the likelihood of victory.
Maintaining Player Health and Fitness
Today, AI is playing a significant role in healthcare sectors from symptoms analysis to medical diagnosis. This extraordinary predictive and diagnostic capabilities of AI can also be applied in the realms of sports, where physical health and fitness of players are of prime importance. In ensuring the health and fitness of players, major football teams are investing heavily in incorporating major tools which can keep track of their players’ health parameters and their movements to evaluate their fitness using sports wearables. AI can even detect early signs of fatigue or stress-induced injuries or musculoskeletal or cardiovascular problems using the collected data, which can help medical teams to maintain players’ fitness and keep them safe from injuries by taking timely action.
Broadcasting and advertising
Apart from revolutionizing selection process and maintaining teams physical fitness, AI can also play a major role in broadcasting and advertising placement. AI can be used by sporting broadcasters to monetize sporting events. It can be helpful in boosting experience of their audience. For example, AI can be used by a viewer to automatically set camera angles for enhanced experience. It can be used to automatically set subtitles for live sporting events based on viewers locations and language. Not only that, AI can also help advertisers to monetize their ads by displaying it on right time based on crowd excitement levels in sporting arenas, which can improve the conversion ratio.
Key players who are providing AI based sporting solutions
In this blog, I tried to explain some of the key areas in sports where the fruit of AI can be tasted. There is no doubt that AI in sports will make the prediction of outcomes of competitions more certain and reliable. Regardless of how much we try to bring predictability and certainty into sports, there will always be that element of unpredictability and surprise in it, by virtue of the human element. After all, that is what makes sports exciting and fascinating for audiences from across the world. As long as sports remains a fascination for the masses, businesses will have the opportunity to profit from it. As long as there is profit to be gained from the world of sports, the investment in and incorporation of technology for sports will continue.
After reading your article I was amazed. I know that you explain it very well. And I hope that other readers will also experience how I feel after reading your article.
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Great Post, Really very happy to say,your post is very interesting to read.I never stop myself to say something about it.You’re doing a great job.Keep it up
Really useful information. I learned some new points here.I wish you luck as you continue to follow that passion.