How AI Can Enhance Sporting Competitions
You’ve probably heard about the latest advancements in artificial intelligence. An AI predicted the recent pandemic nine days before WHO even acknowledged it.
AI algorithms affect Google’s search results more than ever. Even more impressive, they can also track your health status with just a few gadgets. And let’s not forget Sophia the Robot, who can alter her tone and responses naturally. With such incredible examples, one might wonder if there’s there anything AI can’t do.
AI in the locker room
Now don’t think that players have microchips installed to enhance their abilities. We’re still far away from such a scenario.
However, numerous sporting clubs have started using AI to detect individual players’ strengths and weaknesses. Computers gather and analyze comprehensive statistics and interpret them to give sound advice.
Wearables monitor a player’s heartbeat, breathing pattern, and other aspects during training. Some programs are so advanced that they can detect individual muscle movement. For instance, if a player lifts weights the wrong way, their smartwatch can tell them how to correct their posture.
AI in the field
Cameras don’t record mere images anymore. Instead, they can also sense individual players and track each one’s movements simultaneously alongside all the others.
Consequently, streaming sports video has also become more advanced. We used to rely on commentators to understand everything that was happening in the field. Now, special platforms allow you to analyze all the data in real-time and click on a player to view their history.
Because of this, bettors can now understand the odds of a match far better than they could in the past. And even club owners can determine what players they should trade with other clubs in the future. Not to mention that such tools also allow for easier negotiations between one owner and another.
AI is enhancing competition
Physical sports aren’t the only ones that benefit from AI. Chess and poker are no longer solely player-driven.
Instead, we’ve seen the rise of algorithms that can beat world champs like Garry Kasparov and Chris Ferguson. If a computer can beat the best human players, how will these competitions change in the future?
It’s certainly an interesting topic. But it begs another fundamental question: if all the participants are just as good, is the sport still entertaining? If two similar AIs compete in the same competition, things will become repetitive at one point.
The rise of virtual sports
Due to the recent pandemic, many sporting events got canceled. This left players, fans, and bettors with a bitter taste in their mouths.
People can only re-watch the same matches a limited number of times before they get bored. And some might not be fans of playing games like FIFA or Madden. Instead, they simply enjoy watching others play.
This is where virtual sports come into play. Virtual sports events play out just like regular matches do. But instead of real players, they’re controlled by an AI. The program takes into account the same statistics that it would take in real events.
Yes, even injuries from previous matches, players’ muscle development, etc. It uses these statistics and plays out a virtual game simulation realistically. Doing this allows consumers to enjoy a match as good as the real thing, and it will enable bettors to skip over the game and see the results of their bets.
How will all these things influence sporting events in the future?
If you’re worried about real players getting replaced by androids, don’t be. That’s a sci-fi scenario that no current technology can hope to achieve.
However, you can expect more thought-out tactics from every team that can afford an AI system. It will make competitions far more interesting, with each player trying to outsmart the other in ways never seen before.
So far, we’ve only seen a tiny bit of what this technology can do. With all the significant advancements in tech over the last ten years, nobody knows how sports are going to look like. Nevertheless, we can’t wait to see what the future holds.