With the development of science and technology, artificial intelligence and data science have played a more and more important role in the field of sports. Few things in the world cannot be quantified, and everything that can be quantified can be accurately predicted by the combination of data analysis and artificial intelligence. Take the sports field as an example, the quantifiable elements are very rich, which is suitable for artificial intelligence to play a big role in it. In addition, it needs to be clarified that the application of artificial intelligence in the field of sports is not limited to improving athletes’ performance. After all, the coverage of modern sports has been very wide, not only reflected in the athletes.
Next, let’s talk about six specific ways in which AI and data science affect the sports world.
1. Find and recruit talents
Whether baseball, football or other sports, sports teams are increasingly using athletes’ personal performance data to measure whether they have good physical conditions and development potential. However, in the process of screening the next sports superstar, public statistics (such as running speed, shooting accuracy or passing level) are not enough. We need to consider more complex multi factor indicators.
In this regard, the limitations of human nature make it impossible for us to accurately record and evaluate these indicators. With big data and artificial intelligence fully settled in the sports field, the management, recording and measurement process of such success indicators has become more convenient and reliable. Computer vision, machine learning and other forms of AI programs use algorithms to analyze player statistics, game videos and collected information from various sensors, so as to find valuable talents that may be ignored by coaches or scouts.
Specifically, AI can use historical data (well-documented data in various sports competitions) to help teams accurately predict the future potential of new athletes. The data sorting speed of such algorithms is much faster than that of human beings, and can provide the team with player personal information that was unimaginable in the past. In addition, this kind of AI algorithm can also estimate the market value of players and help teams make accurate quotations when recruiting new talents.
2. Analyze the effect of exercise and training
AI is rapidly accumulating expertise to establish the correlation between quantitative and measurable variables (such as running speed, shooting accuracy and time indicators) and qualitative factors (such as focus, strategic view, teamwork ability). In this process, AI technology helps to form teams and ensure that players play a good complementary role. In order to achieve this goal, we first need to focus on the training methods and training plans, evaluate whether they are effective and how to further improve the training effect of athletes.
Today, almost all athletes are using AI driven wearable devices. This kind of equipment uses the machine learning platform to capture and analyze the subtle changes in the players’ movements, which will help the system understand whether the daily training and exercise have brought positive changes and how the specific effects are. In addition, the analysis system can also provide athletes with nutrition, fitness methods and more personalized training plans through these data, so as to help athletes further improve their performance on the field.
For example, precisonwear hopes to develop advanced wearable devices that can minimize injuries and improve athletes’ performance on the field. Precisionwear timely informs the current trainer of the body’s response to the training content by measuring stride imbalance, speed, strength and other movement related variables. It can help players make adjustment decisions quickly according to the impact of training and physical reactions. On this basis, players can more scientifically and accurately set the exercise and rest cycle to ensure that the body will not be injured due to improper or excessive training.
3. Plan tactics and improve performance
For coaches, AI technology can also help them plan tactics in all kinds of fierce competitive sports. During the interval between matches, the AI scheme will constantly put forward various insights and deeply affect the specific tactics formulated by the coach.
Through the combination of wearable sensors and high-speed cameras, the AI platform can now accurately measure the speed, rotation and position information of various objects in tennis, hockey, cricket and other sports. Of course, it can also accurately grasp the impact of the players’ actions on the field and the progress of the comparison game. With these data, coaches can better prepare for the next game. More importantly, AI technology can also predict the success opportunities of various confrontation strategies. For example, some football coaches are quickly exploring the correct technical and tactical ideas with the help of AI.
Taking formula one (F1) racing as an example, it is one of the most watched sports in the world, and it is also a highly popular event with the highest degree of data drive. At present, most F1 cars are equipped with 200 to 400 sensors. The development of data science has greatly simplified the data collection process, and AI technology is responsible for interpreting these data. With the help of AI, the team can visually sort out the data and calculate the arrival time. At present, Amazon Web services (AWS) has provided a cloud computing platform for many F1 teams, which has saved the race data of the past 60 years for each team to analyze to find out the best tactics to adapt to the current race.
4. Create a better viewing experience in the stadium
The intelligent security camera equipped with AI and Internet of things technology helps to improve the security and operation level of sports venues and sports venues. In the management of large-scale sports events, we mainly face three core challenges: protecting tourists from dangerous or violent acts; Provide sufficient parking spaces for tourists; Improve the reception capacity of restaurants and sanitary facilities. Under the control of the operator, these factors will directly determine the actual experience of the audience. Facts have proved that security operators, developers and integrators have benefited greatly from the continuous popularization and upgrading of technical solutions in the field of sports.
First of all, it is often difficult for spectators to find suitable parking spaces around sports venues or sports facilities. At the end of the game, the sudden influx of spectators will also make the exit route congested. In such scenarios, the concept of intelligent parking will play an important role.
Similar to public transport facilities such as airports, Internet of things security cameras deployed in stadiums and gymnasiums also help to monitor and control the flow of visitors during the event. Most gymnasiums have been equipped with camera systems before. They only need to connect relevant functions to analyze video data and realize real-time communication with other Internet of things devices.
At present, many start-ups and companies are developing intelligent applications for cameras, so that these devices can detect the queue length and the waiting time of checkout / queuing to go to the toilet, and then guide visitors accordingly. Of course, the intelligent security camera does not have to choose a fixed stand. The camera can also be combined with UAV to bring more flexible monitoring range:
5. Broadcast and streaming media enhancement
[compared with fans who watch the game on the spot, watching the game through TV or digital devices naturally has a gap in experience – this gap is fully reflected in emotional state, signal, interaction and response. The maturity of digital technology is expected to bring a more unique personalized viewing experience to the whole remote audience group. Ticket sales may increase in the future Great pressure – at that time, whether users are sitting on the sofa or in a large-scale stadium, they may enjoy a more personalized and interactive practical experience. From this point of view, sports teams, event venues, event organizers, award ceremony organizations and other institutions may have to find ways to further enhance the attraction of the site.]
The 2018 World Cup is a good example. At that time, billions of fans around the world gathered in front of the screen to watch the games. Fox Sports not only broadcast the game in real time, but also launched the FIFA World Cup Highlight machine project in time – a platform based on AI technology, which can help fans create and share their own customized highlights in a few seconds.
Using this interactive platform, fans can browse and filter FIFA’s past and current game archives by year, team, players and game progress (such as free throws and goals). In other landmark events such as the U.S. Open and Wimbledon tennis open, fans have also obtained similar new tools to help them continuously obtain higher “experience” standards year after year.
The intelligent technology running behind the scenes can “process” the data in real time, “learn” to accurately identify the event participants, “listen” to the audience’s reactions and emotions, and even understand people’s gestures – combining all these, personalized content naturally came into being.
6. Improve the accuracy of punishment
One of the earliest uses of technology in sports events is to help referees make more accurate decisions. Taking lawn tennis as an example, the industry has long used adjustment cameras to help referees determine whether tennis falls in or out of bounds. In cricket, there is Hawk Eye technology, and in football, virtual assistant referee (VaR) technology.
The introduction of this kind of technology makes the sports events more fair and standardized, and also makes the referee’s judgment more objective. Especially in cricket, rough judgment often leads to serious dissatisfaction among athletes; The emergence of technology, especially AI technology, has greatly improved the fairness of cricket.
Over time, the AI system will also learn quickly and master the know-how of using data to accurately locate the position, attack, player’s posture and position. With the improvement of machine learning, I believe that the judgment opinions of the competition will become more accurate and unified.