How AI is Changing Sport As We Know It
There has been no shortage of click-baiting headlines over the past decade detailing the myriad ways in which AI is going to change everything we currently know about the world. From transport to defence to education to employment, all we have heard is how, any day now, AI is going to turn it all upside down.
While we are still patiently waiting for much of this to materialise, there has been a quieter AI revolution taking place elsewhere – inside the global professional sporting industry. The uptake of various AI technologies and applications has accelerated within major sports at a breakneck pace, potentially reshaping a $440 billion a year market permanently. Read on to find out exactly how AI is revolutionising sports.
Probably the most visible way in which AI is changing sports right now concerns the players themselves. In major leagues such as the NFL and NBA, body monitoring devices and AI performance software are used widely to track where players are succeeding and what skills they need to improve. AI-driven software suites such as HomeCourt AI are now being used to attempt to optimize every aspect of a player’s game, using real-time data and analytics.
The multi-billion-pound a year sports betting industry is no stranger to emerging technologies. This is clearly evidenced through the growing use of artificial intelligence within sports betting to help calculate more accurate odds and better predict outcomes in horse races, football fixtures, and more. Specifically, platforms such as Beth.bet are now being increasingly used by punters looking for racing tips that focus on data, industry expertise, and news, rather than being based solely on bookies’ opinions.
One of the major ways in which media coverage of sports is being affected by the use of AI in sports journalism. Nowadays, it is increasingly common for outlets to make use of AI platforms such as Wordsmith to auto-generate summaries of sporting events, complete with points and in-game metrics. This can make the often complicated job of sports journalism a straightforward, accurate, and fully automated process.
Broadcasting and Streaming
In the world of sports, broadcasting is big business. That’s why media channels are investing heavily in AI processes that can help make the streaming process more accessible, engaging, and efficient. Nowadays, AI plays a role in many aspects of a sports broadcast. Platforms can now use machine learning to generate live subtitles in dozens of different languages, or automatically ensure that the TV feed is displaying the best camera viewpoint. AI is also playing a significant role in mainstreaming VR and AR sports broadcasts, making the viewing experience more immersive than ever.
AI is also being used by managers and coaches to help put together winning strategies, especially in games such as football or rugby. By collecting data from previous fixtures and feeding it all into a deep learning algorithm, you can now get detailed strategies and plays generated in an instant, telling you the best way to guide your team towards success.
For better or for worse, AI is here to stay in the world of sports. Whether we will see similar levels of AI uptake in other parts of the entertainment industry remains to be seen.
Occasional writer and fan of video games and scifi TV shows!