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Can a data-backed approach change sports as we know it?

Been in a fruitless loop of a conversation about your Cab complaint or a flight refund on a social media platform? Chances are you have been speaking to an AI powered bot employed by the respective cab service provider and airlines to help with some tasks which have the same or similar questions as well as solutions. Worst still, you may be interacting with a fake account. Advanced ML is making the bots seem more and more humanlike by adding nuances which correspond to human behaviour in a very convincing manner and hence these bots are hard to identify. We take a look at ways in which one can identify bots.

Social Media Bots

Can a data-backed approach change sports as we know it?

Artificial Intelligence can be easily applied to anything that can be measured or calculated. Sports is no exception. The recent past has seen an increased use of AI in sports. With its growing impact and positive outcome when applied to the field, it won’t be wrong to assume a greater role for AI in sports in the times to come. Here’s how it is being currently used across many areas.

Recruitment

The fitness and potential of players is the key to forming strong, performing teams. A major area in which AI helps in sport is in the search for new players. Previous data from performances can be used to predict the potential of players in the future. For baseball, player data can be collected through AI such as speed, angle etc. to present insights which can be extremely useful to the recruiters in making their final decision with respect to which players to take on-board.

Training

By using Virtual Reality tools and apps, baseball hitters and batters can be trained to perfect their play. It can also be used in doing the correct workouts. Asensei has a coaching platform which steers individuals to the correct method of workouts by using motion capture sensors fitted in sports apparel. Besides athletes, coaches can be trained to make better decisions about the line-ups before a match by analyzing the opponents on various parameters such as speed, tennis serve, pass, etc.

Performance Analysis

Players and coaches can use AI to review their own performance and also that of the opponents and get insights about the strengths and weaknesses of particular players. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and Goal Line Technology (GLT) have been extremely beneficial in soccer by helping with additional support which referees can make use of to arrive at the right decisions. ML-based Apps have also been developed which can help predict the direction of the game (win or loss) for the coming 15 minutes. Mustard uses AI to analyze an athlete’s performance and gives tips to improve it.

Something for the audiences too!

Spectators too can benefit from AI. Tennis fans are particularly in luck thanks to IBM’s Watson AI technology which helps them see the game up close. IBM Watson recognizes the best match moments, listens to crowd cheer, and detects reaction, notices the body language etc. and generates highlights of the match accordingly. Sports teams also use chatbots to answer queries of fans on a wide range of subjects. If there’s something the bot can’t handle, human reps are roped in to intervene.

The future is exciting! Write to us at [email protected] to know how we can help with your AI journey.

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wasim basir

marketing, board member

It’s most obvious in the digital media space, from click buys to personalized web experiences. For marketing, the AI journey has just kick-started, while in the tech sector it has been applied for a while now. We are still at an early stage where inroads are being made into AI content via chatbots and even some explanatory content creation but what will make anyone jump up and embrace it is when we will start seeing a lot of mainstream content being created by AI.

rich arnold

board member

Prior to joining Infinite Analytics, Richard served as the CFO of CrowdFlower, COO and CFO of Phoenix Technologies, as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the Audit Committee at Intellisync, and previously as CFO and executive vice president strategy and corporate development at Charles Schwab.

pravin gandhi

board member

Pravin Gandhi has over 50 years of entrepreneurial operational and investing experience in the IT industry in India. He was a founding partner of the first early stage fund India - INFINITY. Subsequently a founding partner in Seedfund I & II. With over 18 years of investing experience, he is extensively well networked in investment and entrepreneurial scene and is an active early stage angel investor in tech & impact space. Pravin holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Cornell University, and serves on the board of several private corporations in India. He is on the board of SINE, IIT Mumbai Incubator.

Purushotham Botla

co-founder & cto

Puru has his Masters in Engineering and Management from MIT. Prior to MIT, he worked with Fidelity Investments building electronic trading products and high volume market data processing applications. He has completed his BE from VJTI, Mumbai.

deb-roy

Deb Roy

Executive Director, MIT Media Lab

Deb Roy is Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT where he directs the MIT Center for Constructive Communication, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He leads research in applied machine learning and human-machine interaction with applications in designing systems for learning and constructive dialogue, and for mapping and analyzing large scale media ecosystems. Deb is also co-founder and Chair of Cortico, a nonprofit social technology company that develops and operates the Local Voices Network to surface underheard voices and bridge divides.

Roy served as Executive Director of the MIT Media Lab from 2019-2021. He was co-founder and CEO of Bluefin Labs, a media analytics company that analyzed the interactions between television and social media at scale. Bluefin was acquired by Twitter in 2013, Twitter’s largest acquisition of the time. From 2013-2017 Roy served as Twitter’s Chief Media Scientist.

Erik Brynjolfsson

Board Member

Erik Brynjolfsson is the Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Professor and Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI (HAI), and Director of the Stanford Digital Economy Lab. He also is the Ralph Landau Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), Professor by Courtesy at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Stanford Department of Economics, and a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).

Akash Bhatia

Co-Founder and CEO

Akash co-founded IA while studying for his MBA from MIT. Prior to MIT Sloan, he co-founded Zoonga. Before this, Akash was an engineer with Oracle in Silicon Valley. He has completed his M.S from University of Cincinnati and B.E from the College of Engineering, Pune.