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The Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Sport Industry

24 October, 2022 AI & Machine Learning
artificial-intelligence-in-sport-2022

In recent years, AI in sports has been praised by many people as a tool to improve athletes’ performance and calculate their moves. Let’s find out about specific functions of Artificial Intelligence in the sport industry through the article below!

I. How is Artificial Intelligence used in sports?

Applying Artificial Intelligence in Sport will be slower than using AI in other software applications because sports involve human thinking and behavior. Here are four ways AI has penetrated sports and captured the interest of many people.

1.1. Competitive AI

Firstly, AI has the ability to compete with humans so that humans care more about them. We can see the competitive advantage of AI with some complex esports games. Here are some key cases:

  • Chess – Deep Blue won for the first time in 1997 and started winning against a human opponent in 2005.
  • Go – AlphaGo has consistently won since 2016.
  • StarCraft – AlphaStar beat the top StarCraft player in 2018.
  • Dota 2 – OpenAI’s robot (an artificial intelligence research lab) beat some amateur gamers in 2018 (but still lost to professional gamers).

These are some examples of AI deep learning. A deep learning system consists of billions of individual parameters layered together to create a complex network. The system plays millions of games with itself, each time the deep learning system learns about what needs to work and what doesn’t to adjust the parameters accordingly. After all these games, the system will learn how to play on par with or above its opponents.

1.2. Trending AI

AI competitions are becoming more and more popular. There are various contests between AI that attract millions of viewers. Below is a list of various games and AI representations on YouTube that get a lot of views from the audience.

Rocket League is a popular soccer-like game that has an active robot community. Their videos of AI competitions have millions of views. The game itself has about 50 million players.

Code Bullet focuses on programming various AIs to play in games like Flappy Bird and Storm the House. The channel has more than 2.5 million subscribers with videos garnering 15 million views. In addition, the Dallas Cowboys Youtube channel has 90,000 subscribers, Real Madrid FC has more than 7 million subscribers.

To attract more people to play video games, we must diversify our AIs. People don’t want to watch the same thing over and over again. One of the motivations for watching sports as entertainment is that it is based on the element of chance, we can not forecast who will be the winner. AI must be able to perform many high-level, more challenging levels.

In fact, there is a misconception that watching AI is a boring experience because they just copy humans and follow pre-programmed rule sets. Sure that was true of machines in the past, but for years now we’ve had AI that can work in amazingly innovative ways.

artificial-intelligence-in-sport-robot
Pepper is a Japanese humanoid robot that can sense emotion and exhibit its own feelings.

1.3. The development of esports

There are still some limitations to making robots in esports, such as in soccer. It will take some time to be able to apply artificial intelligence to most traditional sports.

The esports industry hit $1 billion in revenue in 2021 and has an expected 15% year-over-year growth. Cloud 9 – US esports team has a valuation of more than 300 million dollars, Dallas Cowboys at 7 billion dollars.. The important thing is that esports is still relatively new. Esports only started 25 years ago and the most popular game is Dota 2. While eSports is still young, the size of the prize pool is huge, showing how quickly the industry has grown. Once this continued growth hits a critical threshold and becomes mainstream in society, esports can provide the same dynamics of bonding with family and friends as traditional sports.

Currently, FIFA also organizes tournaments for esports. For fans at home, the experience is almost the same, watching a match on television with the same live commentary. It is true that the image of current games still has a lot of room for improvement, but FIFA fixes that problem every year with new games. For example, you can watch in 3D to experience the match or maybe even become the referee. The most lucrative sport in the world (soccer) also has an esports version and attracts a lot of people to participate in this game.

There are other reasons why esports is a top choice for people interested in AI, such as the ability to train and improve AI more effectively. The AI can play millions of computer games to learn its strategy and test its performance.

1.4. Advanced Robotics

Once AI agents have become a regular part of the sporting experience, advances in robotics will allow them to play all the games that humans would normally play. Football players will be able to practice with a full set of AI robots set up to challenge them and help them grow. Players will also be able to compete in human-robot tournaments

While human biology is relatively fixed, robotics will continue to evolve. This means that sports can also continue to grow. Imagine a game of football played at the same speed as tennis. Quiz is definitely fun.

II. A remarkable application of Artificial Intelligence in Sport: Olympic Tokyo 2020

In 2021, the IOC and Japan (the host country) announced that the Olympics would resume. One of the most welcomed guests in the Tokyo Summer Olympics is artificial intelligence. This technology is changing the approach of technology used in sports.

2.1. Application of artificial intelligence at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Tokyo Summer Olympics are providing athletes and operators with a world-class experience in artificial intelligence in sport.

  • The Olympic games were early adopters of technology since the advent of chronographs.
  • Omega’s Magic Eye camera, launched in 1948. It has given us many perfect shots for race events.
  • Since then, technology has evolved to become part of every sporting event taking place across the globe. It has taken a leap forward in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

2.2. Technology in the Lobby of the Tokyo Olympics

Intelligent self-driving car

Before learning how artificial intelligence in sport helps athletes and prepare to be perfect in the Olympics. Let’s see how technology is performing simple tasks in the Olympics. It is a fact that hundreds of people from all over the world gather at a designated location. They are properly accommodated. But the big challenge that event managers face is how to guide athletes and their teams to the venue.

Fortunately, autonomous vehicles are a useful solution to mobility problems. Autonomous vehicles are designated for athletes to drive around the Olympic village. In addition, self-driving cars use programmed machine learning to deliver sports equipment. Like javelin, discus and hammer for athletes in games.

Self-driving car e-Palette

Real-time language switching system

As mentioned earlier, the Olympics is a place where different nations meet. The problem of language may be a major barrier at that time. Not everyone is familiar with the languages of other regions. As a result, the Olympics are using an AI-powered real-time translation system. This makes it easier for different people to understand the instructions. The translator is installed on a smartphone or other compatible device, allowing the user to select the target language. When speaking into the device, the speech in the language is converted.

Besides, artificial intelligence applications at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 are being used in many forms. Such as tracking tools, cloud-based broadcasting, robotic assistants and 5G.

Big data to track athlete health and performance

Big data plays an important role in improving athlete performance. Especially, when it comes to surfing, big data aids athletes by tracking their performance and putting it in the numbers. As a result, USA Surfing used a variety of big data techniques to help its athletes gain an edge.

Besides, big data is also used to monitor the physiological state of athletes. It includes cardiovascular output, sleep patterns, heart rate variability, and more. On the other hand, machine learning plays a big role in choosing the perfect site for surfing.

3DAT to uncover the potential of elite athletes

Intel and Alibaba jointly implemented 3DAT (3D Athlete Tracking). The purpose is to closely monitor the athlete’s movements. First debuted at the United States Olympic Games in Eugene Oregon. Currently 3DAT is being used in the Tokyo Olympics for many purposes.

Application to track competitive athletes

The AI-based system takes the image from the five side cameras and sends it to the Alibaba cloud. This is where it gets converted into actionable insights. This method is a way to find out the potential of elite athletes.

Robot helps basketball players throw for free

Although Toyota’s AI-powered humanoid basketball player is not among the team members in the basketball game. But robots are a legend. The humanoid robot made history in 2019 when it achieved the Guinness World Record for “most consecutive basketball throws by a humanoid robot”.

Conclusion

In short, AI is a trend in many fields, not only sports. No one can deny the benefits that technology brings. Thanks to artificial intelligence, implementation is easy during the Olympic Games. This is a positive signal for the further development of artificial intelligence in sport industry.

Read more: How AI Chatbot technology has conquered customer relationships?

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