Cricket and technology work hand in hand. Technology helps in tracking things ball speed, camera in the stump, third umpiring, etc. And now this has taken a new form. In this article, we will focus on IPL 2021 and the use of AI and data science.
Without an umpire we cannot imagine cricket, right? But with technology, this won’t be so far. Soon there would be no need for an umpire to judge the game and AI would have completely replaced the requirement. Ball by ball predictions is now being made using some very innovative aspects of AI. Prediction models are in place, where the data is sustained in and matched with previous data that can analyze the outcome.
IoT enabled bats are becoming a reality, where a sensor on a bat can detect everything from the twist of the ball to the speed of the ball to the quality of a batsman’s shot and this data is relayed for analysis. Team coaches can now clearly analyze the capability of the batsman and can give real-time inputs for improvements. Winning and scoring predictions are becoming more and more accurate making sports betting a lucrative industry for many.
The ongoing IPL is also boosted by AI and data science. Let’s see how AI and data science are making the current IPL more interesting.
Automated Sports Journalism
AI-driven platforms have been designed that can translate hard data into narratives using natural language. Multiple smart cameras can now detect hits, misses, boundaries, scores, centuries, etc., and relay the information directly to the network, without the need of an intermediary to collate information.
Broadcasting and AI Targeted Ads
In addition to revolutionizing the world of sports for coaches and players, AI also has a sizable impact on the way the audience experiences sports. AI systems can be used for automatically choosing the right camera angle to display on viewers’ screens, providing subtitles for live events in different languages based on the location of the viewer, and also enabling broadcasters to utilize monetization opportunities through advertisements. Traditionally advertisements that we see are globally published ads by the network that is relaying. However, targeted & localized ads are now being shown on the field side banners by overlapping the original ads.
Data-Driven Analysis and Augmented Coaching
AI continues to have a significant impact on the strategic decisions made by coaches, before, during, and after the game. With the help of wearable sensors and high-speed cameras, AI platforms measure a forward pass, a penalty kick, LBW in cricket, and a lot of similar actions in various sports. This data empowers coaches to prepare players better for competition. This data-driven analysis of players along with the quantitative and qualitative variables helps coaches to develop better training programs for their teams.
Player Performance Improvement
AI is also being used to enhance the performance of players. Apps like HomeCourt make use of computer vision and machine learning to assess basketball players’ skills, giving them a good medium to improve. The recording of these performance metrics of the athletes is not only credible but also helps the players to understand the areas where they have maximum potential to excel and the areas that still need improvement.
Virtual Reality Sports Strengthened by AI
Virtual Reality (VR) has added a different dimension to sports and gamification as now with virtual reality headsets, enthusiasts can compete virtually with each other from around the world. A virtual platform with AI technology provides a realistic experience in a virtual environment that matches the experience of witnessing the game live. Also, with the emergence of 5G, such experiences will get more interactive and the sports industry will be changed forever.
AI in Match Predictions
Machine learning can be used to predict the result of matches. Be it in soccer, or in cricket, where massive data is available, a model outcome can be created to predict the upcoming confrontations. One of the best practical applications of this can be conveyed through the project made by the students at Great Learning on ‘IPL Cricket Match Outcome Prediction using AI Techniques.’
Apart from these, there are some other ways in which the assistive-technology is being used in IPL:
Sports teams are using virtual assistants to respond to fan queries across a wide range of topics including game information, team information, team stats, etc.
Researchers are training deep learning neural networks to predict beyond human abilities like optimized player’s performance, analyze and give instant inputs in things like batting technique, stance, and shot selection.
Companies are using wearable devices to track, measure & predict real-time impacts on a player. Not just while training, but also during the game, which can help the teams put their best player in front.
Data Mining for Selecting Players
Sports committees are using the regular feeds that keep coming from regional/local matches to try and identify the best player, who is currently in the best form.
Teams, players, promoters, advertisers, and viewers are all taking advantage of this advancement in technology through AI and are indeed becoming a game-changer in the field. AI is all set to completely revolutionize the way the sport is played.
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