Buckle up if you are active in sports! One way or another you too will be affected by artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning. Some people are underestimating the impact of it but by doing so, they make a huge mistake. Sports is one of the business segments that will be affected most!
Artificial intelligence: a smart thinking machine
First things first! Do you actually know what artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning are? For those that have heard of it but do not know exactly what it is, let me try to explain it in simple terms. Artificial Intelligence is what the word suggests. It is an intelligence that is artificial! It is programmed by humans in order to perform tasks done by humans and requiring the human intelligence. Tasks that lends itself for AI are for example speech and image recognition, decision making and analysis. So yes, your Siri and Alexa are applications of artificial intelligence. Basically everything which can be translated into data lends itself for AI. So, is it a thinking machine? Bang on! That’s what it is.Machine learning: the more examples, the smarter it gets
So You know now what AI is. What about machine learning and deep learning? What do these have to do with AI? Good question! Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence. Rather than giving a computer an instruction, you give it a bunch of examples. With these examples it starts to recognize patterns and comes up with a solution itself. The more examples the machine gets, the smarter it becomes. That’s what machine learning is. It learns from the data it gets. If you continuously stream classical music, it is unlikely that it comes up with punk music suggestions. Machine learning lends itself particularly well for repetitive tasks.
Deep learning aiming to mimic human brain
Deep learning goes a level deeper. I read somewhere it is machine learning on steroids and aims to mimic the human brain as much as possible. It uses different subsets of data to make structured decisions and that’s where the main difference is with machine learning: the latter uses one layer of data.
AI will have a huge impact on sports
Ok, enough is enough! Now you know the basics! You probably realize that all of us will be impacted big time by the changes this will bring to our society, good and bad! You may think, it will not affect my job by that much and that it will take a long time. In both cases you are probably very wrong. It will affect your job and it will be there quick! Sports is one of the industries that will experience huge changes in the future across the board. AI is one of the most important trends in the sports world.
The athlete: AI will help performance
Sports is all about how to improve yourself and maximize your performance. It is all about the actors. The athlete is the main performer here! Every help he (or she) can get, he will use to realize that one last percentage point that can make the difference. AI can very likely produce this! How? For example, with sensors! Sensors can basically measure everything. Think about body functions, biomechanics, heart rate, breathing, lung capacity, muscle movement, posture etc. This athlete specific info provides extremely useful data points which can be analyzed. Artificial Intelligence will use these data points to come up with tailor made solutions for each individual athlete. How and how much he or she should train, what he should eat, how much rest he will need, how he can avoid injuries etc.
The stadiums and venues will transform in deep learning cities
The stadiums and venues of the future will not be like they have been before. Future stadiums will be technological fortresses and data temples. With the help of AI, facial recognition, crowd management and smart ticketing will become commonplace. AI will detect the behavior of each individual fan and provide them with tailor made experiences with the help of AR and VR. Think about chatbots that will assist you, about holographic experiences with your favorite player, stats and info the way you want them delivered, interactive screenshots of yourself, advertising aimed at you. Think about drones that will automatically detect the right camera angle for replays and highlights, so you can see these in the most optimal way.
The media: content will never be the same anymore
What to think of automated journalism? Yes, it can already be done! Sports articles can be written by AI platforms. I challenge you to spot the difference! But there is much more. Think about the timing and content of advertisements shown during a game. The latter also will determine which highlights will be broadcasted and which not. Based on the events on the field, AI systems connected to drones can be used to choose the right camera angle to display on the viewers’ screens.