How Computer Algorithm Could Change the Way We Watch Sports

Written by prodigitalweb



Computers are becoming way much smarter and intelligent in their abilities that a common man can comprehend. Currently computers are giving sports journalists a scare for job security as they are able to write quick summaries of sporting event by simply studying the box score though they had to be trained for this purpose. And for the good part we are soon coming to an age where live commentary of any professional sporting events can be done through the help of computers. This will seriously endanger the jobs of commentators as some researchers had developed incredible computer algorithm and with the combination of machine learning and computer vision, they can teach a computer to provide awesome live commentary to masses.

The game of Cricket pioneers machine based live commentary

Some computers are able to provide highly accurate text based commentary of the cricket matches in India. A paper has been published recently by a group of Indian researchers from IIT Hyderabad which showed that even the weekly supervised computers can easily distinguish what’s happening on the cricket field through videos and can provide incredible text based commentary.

How computers learned to understand the cricket?

Human beings can understand the complex nature of the game with time but for machines things are not as easy as it seems. Computers  algorithm were made to analyze hundreds of hours of cricket videos from the YouTube channel of popular Indian Premier League. These videos were segregated into different categories based on the text description about them which were readily available in YouTube.

At next step longer videos were broken down into smaller scenes in to classify each video shot and to make computer understand those. Finally computer had to rely on an computer algorithm to find the right commentary which matched whatever was being shown in the different video shots. This resulted into developing the ability in computer to successfully present live commentary for the cricket matches. Researchers have used commentary from more than 300 matches which already existed in the Cricinfo database for this purpose. With experiments over cricket game the computer algorithm have shown an remarkable ability in accurately labeling the various shots plays by the batsman within 1.2 seconds.

No computer based commentary for NFL and NBA fans

In the United States NFL and NBA fans can breather of sign of relief as there is no possibility of the computer algorithm to sense the maniac action of 5-on-5 or 11-on-11 in these sporting events. Machine has been designed to recognize particular shapes and colors but if athletes wear Color Rush uniforms then it will impossible for the machine to provide accurate live commentary.

This research does show some advantages which machines have over human; like machine can easily process views of actions from different angles at once. In conclusion, it can be stated that computer algorithm doesn’t pose threat to the commentators as it is in elementary stage but in few years it might be a different story when we catch next NFL game.


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