The introduction of artificial intelligence into the world of sports has started to revolutionize sports and is taking it to new levels. Although quantitative analysis and statistics have been central to understanding sports for a long while, the presence of AI now means that there will likely be changed in the game’s strategies, how it is played, and how the audience is engaged.
Trends like this are already emerging and are becoming prevalent in many sports such as football, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, etc.
Artificial intelligence has also started to impact the discussions in the locker room. Teams now have better insights into their opponents; TV screens now show highlights and replays faster, etc. Artificial intelligence is also creating a new path to sporting victory for everyone involved in the sporting world. This ranges from the sportsmen to the broadcasters and fans, with the prediction of game tactics so that players can choose the best strategy, real-time game statistics available for fans and players, and inform the players on injuries and potential performance decline.
Technology, as a whole, and artificial intelligence, are now very pervasive in the world of sport. It has been a key factor and contributor in the evolution and growth of sports both inside and outside of the stadiums and enabling all the teams and individual players to play at the optimum. But like many other things, the application of artificial intelligence in sports has its advantages and disadvantages.
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Advantages of artificial intelligence in sports
There are many advantages of AI in sports, and some of these are:
Recruitment and scouting
While it is not possible to evaluate humans with quantitative metrics, you can scrutinize sportsmen’s performance through quantitative analysis. Team sports such as basketball, football, and other sports have started to increase their use of performance data for individual players to measure their fitness and potential.
Artificial intelligence has helped teams scout their potential recruits to determine whether they have the level of ability or potential they need for their team. With AI and big data in sports management, measuring and recording success indicators is much more comfortable.
Training and performance analysis
In gauging sports performances, coaches and analysts use many data points pertaining to individual and collective performances to identify areas where players are doing well and the other areas where they are lagging. The metric to assess a player’s contribution will also depend on their roles within the team.
Maintaining fitness and health
AI is already being used in the healthcare industry and is transforming it. The extraordinary diagnostic and predictive abilities of AI can be applied in the critical area of fitness and physical health in sports. The only way sportspeople can compete is if they are healthy and physically fit. AI is used to analyze player movement and some health parameters to evaluate their fitness level and detect potential stress-induced injuries or signs of fatigue early. This will help the medical teams maintain a high level of player fitness and make them less injury-prone.
Disadvantages of artificial intelligence in sports
Even though there are many advantages of AI in sports that totally outweigh the disadvantages, it would be unfair to not mention the disadvantages at all.
High running cost
The use of artificial intelligence in sports comes at a very high cost. The fact that it is applied in almost sports management areas makes it even more expensive to run. Moreso, the technology will continue to improve, so there will be a constant need to update and upgrade both software and hardware of the artificial intelligence technology. There is also the cost of maintaining and repairing an AI machine. With it being a complex machine, the cost of creation is high, so maintenance or repair costs.
Unemployment/ loss of jobs
This has been a major point for critics of this technology, and even in the world of sports, it is also bound to create unemployment or make people lose their jobs. The automation of manual jobs that would have required human efforts by these machines makes humans unnecessary for the job. An example of this is in scouting and recruitment. Instead of having scouts go and watch individual players repeatedly during matches and try to note their key strengths and weakness, it is easier now to get data about their strengths and weaknesses and how they fit into the team without watching the player. This has reduced the work of scouts and is making them redundant. As the years go, fewer teams will use scouts for their recruitment, and more will relieve scouts.
We can go on and on about the advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence in the sporting world. There is no doubt that it comes with plenty of benefits, but at the end of the day, like every other thing that has benefits, it also has its disadvantages. It’s left for sports management to maximize the pros and minimize the cons.
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