AI Case Study
The International Gymnastics Federation plans to implement AI technology to assist judges with scoring at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is planning to implement an AI system designed to assist judges with scoring during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Developed by Fujitsu, the system will also be capable of providing gymnastics athletes, their coaches as well as the audience with advance analytics.
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"The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is planning to introduce the AI technology to assist with scoring at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (as long as the IOC partner’s for timekeeping and results approves, the plan is good to go). Japanese IT giant Fujitsu, which is developing the 3D sensory system, says the product will help make scoring easier, assist coaches and athletes in training, and offer broadcast viewers in-depth, unparalleled coverage that already has Japanese pundits gushing.
Gymnastics hasn’t had to invest a penny in the technology with Fujitsu footing the research and development bill. The company, which is focused on tracking the vault apparatus since it is shared by men and women, is currently analyzing and gathering data from routines to calibrate its software. The goal? FIG wants judges to have a quick go-to option to speed up delays in scoring, ensure every nuance of an athlete’s performance is recorded and avoid controversial decisions.
“A judge must work for eight hours per day – does that allow the mental capacity to remain coherent? It’s not possible to maintain a coherent mind of criteria. Only the computer does,” said former FIG president Bruno Grande.
But there are stumbling blocks. While the technology has been years in development, the rapid push to rely on a so-far untested platform on the grandest stage could provide concerns. Hackers could see an opportunity to discredit the sport or sway results, judges could find themselves sidelined, and gymnasts’ creativity may ultimately be reined in.
Athletes and judges know little about the technology, which was unveiled – but not used in an official capacity – at last month’s world championships in Montreal [October 2017]. The Guardian spoke with several judges about the technology and they were reticent to embrace it without having been briefed on it.
The testing starts with next year’s world championships in Doha, Qatar.
Planned; results not yet available
Artificial Intelligence technology is being introduced in the sports industry and specifically Olympic Games gymnastics.