Artificial intelligence is the new competitive advantage in sports

As soccer fans around the world tuned in on 22North Dakota World Cup, witnessed multiple uses of artificial intelligence. Video assistant technology was helping referees on the field make accurate decisions. More than 15,000 cameras tracked crowds at eight stadiums, and algorithms using data points like ticket sales and stadium entrances predicted crowd patterns and helped prevent stampedes. Even soccer balls are loaded with motion sensorsthat report location to a data center 500 times per second.

In fact, this year’s World Cup in Doha, Qatar, was one of the most high-tech international sporting events yet. But we haven’t even seen all the ways AI will affect sports.

Consider using video playback to improve performance. those of the nba steph curry and the NFL tom brady Both are “movie studio” fans, going through plays and moves to figure out what to repeat and what to avoid. They’re not alone: ​​Video playback is a common component of high-level training in many sports, including baseball, track, hockey, and boxing.

But even as new technology has revolutionized many aspects of elite sports, from radio headsets for coach-player communication to stronger, lighter equipment, the technology behind the movie studio hasn’t changed in a long time. Yes, teams went from celluloid to digital files, but the task of organizing, editing, and learning from film can be very laborious, requiring someone to scroll through hours of not-so-useful footage to find the plays they’re looking for. for. Sports organizations sometimes dedicate entire departments to this work.

A new generation of AI technologies promises to streamline that process considerably, giving early adopters a competitive advantage. In fact, the combination of AI with the movie studio could soon unlock a level of athletic achievement that was unimaginable just a few years ago.

AI is already making a huge difference in the way athletes train. Companies like Seattle Sports Sciences and California-based Sparta Science, for example, provide teams with machine learning tools that analyze athletes’ movements to improve their form and even predict injuries.

Downloadable to a smartphone and used individually, the HomeCourt coaching app harnesses the power of AI to allow basketball players to hone their shooting technique and track their progress. And apps like AIEndurance provide AI-based training to runners and cyclists.

However, sports teams are just beginning to apply AI to the movie studio, where the latest technologies should soon be able to provide much more information in a fraction of the time. Recent advances in object recognition and tracking hold particular promise for gaining a competitive advantage.

Newer AI systems can recognize individual players, moves, plays or patterns without a human having to look at a screen. That means a trainer can find exactly the footage he needs without digging through hours of video. For example, the AI ​​comment Box it can be connected to a team’s existing cameras to provide them with AI functionality without the need to install new sensors or other equipment.

Such advances have simplified the process of isolating the most relevant footage and building custom video packages for each player on a team. Whereas this task once required multiple full-time employees, with AI it can be done by a single person in a matter of minutes or even automated. It is sure to become a huge time saver for players and coaches.

The film studio’s time-tested forming technique was overdue for a technological upgrade. Now that teams are about to incorporate AI in new ways, we can expect to see the results on the field of play.

Over time, the AI-powered tools will spread to different sports, leagues, and levels of play. Athletes who ignore the possibilities are missing out on a great opportunity.

Robbie Garvey is a former professional baseball player with stints in the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Francisco Giants organizations. He has no interest in the companies mentioned in this opinion piece.

Opinions expressed in Fortune.com comments are solely the views of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.

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