Artificial Intelligence has made many significant advances in almost all industries, including the sports industry. Most decisions in the sports industry are gut-driven or based on existing trends and norms. However, the integration of artificial intelligence can help make these decisions in a much more informed manner. AI in sports not only makes training more competitive and efficient but also helps improve, analyze, and even predict athletes’ performances.
Nobody can deny the benefits and transformation AI is bringing to the sports industry. In 2012, the FIFA World Cup integrated Goal-Line Technology(GLT) in Japan to assist referees in analyzing a goal, which was revolutionary in those days. Another application of AI in sports is the Hawkeye system, which allows an instant replay of motion trajectories in tennis and cricket matches. Success of these applications have further increased the demand for AI Software Development and ML Services in the market.
According to research by alliedmarketresearch, the global AI in the sports market segment was estimated to be at $1.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow up to $19.2 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 30.3% from 2021 to 2030. This marks a huge potential for the use of Artificial Intelligence in the sports industry.
How to use AI in sports?
AI in sports is proving to be a game-changer for the entire sports industry. Quality solutions developed by Software Development Company specializing in sports development, have proven to be a way of enhancing various aspects of training, performance analysis, and fan engagement. Developers have found a variety of uses for AI in sports. Some of them are:
Performance Analysis and player tracking
From analyzing player movements with computer vision and tracking technologies to providing insights into player positioning and performance, AI application for sports are reinventing sports training and matches. Sports analytics were actively used in the 2023 Cricket World Cup and have set a precedent for the use of AI in sports cases for the coming year. Another prevalent application also includes the biomechanical analysis of athletes in identifying areas of improvement in technique and reducing the risk of injuries.
Coaches are reinventing the training of their players by using platforms such as Athletica AI. AI platforms adapt your training plans with workout data collected from different sports applications such as Strava or NikeRun Club. Players using such fitness programs for their personal training have seen a marked improvement in their performances, even in the long run. This is encouraging most sports enthusiasts to jump on the bandwagon and embrace adaptable fitness programs. AI-backed virtual reality simulations are another excellent example of using AI to optimize the training of sportspersons. These tools can replicate game scenarios, allowing athletes to be prepared to make sports decisions in different scenarios.
AI is also proving to be instrumental in the prevention of health complications and injuries. AI analyzes biometric data and analyzes athletes’ medical history and injury patterns to further predict the likelihood of injuries and help teams take preventive measures. Understanding one’s weaknesses and preventing them is crucial for any sportsperson to stay competitive.
Recruitment and Scouting
Artificial Intelligence also allows users to analyze vast amounts of player history and can assist coaches in identifying and recruiting talent. Scouting reports and data-driven player evaluations generated with AI are quite informative and detailed with player statistics, strengths, weaknesses, and playing styles.
Game Strategy and Opponent Analysis
AI algorithms are also crucial in analyzing historical data and identifying team dynamics, helping teams develop effective strategies. In-game decision support further aids coaches with real-time insights during a match, aiming at strategic decision-making on current conditions and player performance. AI also assists teams in choosing optimal starting lineups and substitute plans with the help of predictive analysis. By making more educated tactical decisions, supervisors can better prepare their players for tournaments.
AI tools aid in analyzing fan data, predicting preferences, and improving the delivery of personalized content to enhance the overall experience of fans. AI-powered Chatbots and virtual assistants are much more adept at answering queries and creating interactive and memorable experiences. Here are a few other ways that fans can be engaged using AI techniques that are also excellent AI in sports examples:
- Immersive VR Experiences
- Stadium navigation
- Personalized Content
- Player content
- Social Media Monitoring
- Biometric-based experiences, amongst others.
Equipment Innovation and Referee Assistance
Sports equipment is now being designed by analyzing watches, shoes, and helmets, amongst other wearables), when integrated with AI, can provide a host of athletic data that can be extremely useful for coaches and players alike. Referee assistance also gets a boost when AI comes into play. AI-backed VR allows the replaying of matches and identifying potential rule violations. Also, AI-enabled golf clubs, bicycles, and racquets are being researched to collect data that can monitor all micro details of the respective sports. More such innovations are already being researched.
Challenges and Ethical Considerations of AI Sports
There are a few challenges that come with integrating Artificial Intelligence in sports. Given below are some things to consider when one is drafting software applications for sports integrated with AI. Let’s have a look at ethical considerations:
AI backs sports applications that collect personal and biometric data and is up for grabs for anyone who can access it. This raises concerns about the privacy and security of athletes and demands that expensive infrastructure be built for its secure storage and transmission. Big data in sports can prove to be a huge liability for sports organizations willing to spend on AI in sports.
AI in sports also raises questions about fair competition, as it is difficult to define ethical boundaries. These boundaries arise in areas such as steps taken for performance enhancement and injury prevention that exhibit artificial intelligence.
ChatGPT, an AI model, is based on AI algorithms from trained datasets. However, the tool often falls short in performance when it comes to anything outside of those datasets. For example, the tool has learned from data from before September 2021 and could not give answers to prompts that demanded knowledge after that time period. This also leads to biased data since tools cannot be updated and can lead to unfair outcomes. In areas such as scouting, recruitment, and performance analysis, it can be a real challenge to maintain the integrity and fairness of the decisions made.
Reliability and Accuracy
AI errors are not altogether unerring and may lead to results that are not so accurate. Relying solely on AI without human opinion can result in flawed decisions. The correct approach would be to use AI together with human interference for the best results and review.
Resistance to technology
Athletes, coaches, sports enthusiasts, and organizations are mostly set in their ways and are skeptical of implementing new training and decision-making techniques. Embracing AI is further hindered by teams and sports persons who are reluctant to trust the reliability of such AI techniques and decisions.
High cost and low accessibility
Small teams find it difficult to adopt AI techniques as they are expensive and less accessible because of their lack of resources. While bigger teams may adopt them, maintenance of AI tools and wearables further adds to these costs in the long run.
Overreliance on Technology
Automating all training and decision-making in sports can cause players to lose out on genuine experience, intuition, and human judgment. The coaches and players alike can also be misled by the technology while inculcating overreliance on AI technology.
Lack of regulatory bodies
Since AI in sports is a relatively new avenue, it lacks comprehensive regulations that should govern the use of AI. This is bound to give rise to uncertainty and potential legal issues related to the deployment of the said technologies. It also hinders the adoption of AI-led sports as it can lead to easy disqualification for players.
Most major leagues in sports are already testing out AI tools, wearables, and techniques and reaping their benefits. AI sports have already garnered a lot of attention for the possibilities it offers to sports enthusiasts and businesses alike. The future is going to harness these possibilities while redefining the boundaries of what is achievable in sports. If you are a business on the lookout for development of a Sports and gaming Development Company that can provide AI-integrated sports software and applications, look no further! OpenXcell provides keen, reliable AI development services to many happy, global clients. Its rich portfolio of successful AI software solutions is a testament to its commitment to quality!