Sports and artificial intelligence’s transformative superpowers

3 min readJan 25, 2023

Read about how artificial intelligence (AI) came to rule the sports industry

AI is here to stay! The advancements in machine learning, computer vision, and AI have changed how coaches and personal trainers train athletes. Professional players, and their support staff, now benefit from data science insights to improve their performance.

Discover how AI is enhancing the decision-making process in sports and changing the sports experience for the better.

AI referee

Doesn’t this ring a bell? 😏 Football referees have long been using Video Assistant Technology (VAR) to help them decide on big on-the-field plays like red cards or penalties.

Humans are prone to error, especially when all eyes are on them, with screaming sports fans, clubs, and players demanding a given play is approved or vetoed. AI-powered referees minimize human referees’ error margin, allowing the game’s decisions to be made more accurately and reducing the controversy surrounding live in-game plays.

Out of curiosity, research showed that the NBA reviewed 26.822 plays from 1.476 games between March 2015 and June 2018 [1]. A total of 2.197 incorrectly called plays, amounting to 8.2% of all calls reviewed. It may not seem much, but this is A LOT!

This is true not only for in-person but also for asynchronously played sports. Since its inception, Dotmoovs has been using advanced algorithms to detect players’ bodies, limb by limb, and assess their movements’ accuracy. Dotmoovs’ AI referee informs athletes about their performance and assigns them an unbiased, movement-based score, thus allowing for a critical analysis of players’ exercise efforts.

Player performance

Besides being used as a referee aid, AI-based predictive analysis helps boost athletes’ performance and health. The wearables movement has played a significant influence on this. No matter the sport, AI-driven data enables coaches to more precisely learn their team’s strengths and weaknesses in a given practice and act upon them. Using computer vision, they can track players’ movement, fine-tune their in-game strategy, and exploit their opponent’s weaknesses.

It goes beyond a one-time game.

From personalized training and dieting to smart scouting or match predictions, AI-powered sports assistance is everywhere nowadays. For example, human pose estimation technology can inform a user in real time whether they’re doing the downward-facing dog correctly or not. Likewise, people can get daily personalized meal plans based on their weight goals and current fitness levels. Even scouting and recruitment professionals use object-tracking models to detect players’ movements and help them predict their next moves. These machine learning algorithms rank athletes’ skills and overall potential, thus allowing Scouters to make informed decisions and recruit the best players for their teams.

Artificial intelligence is unquestionably part of sports’ future, but this is only the beginning, and that’s most certainly, exhilarating.


[1] — Sigler, K (2019) NBA Referee Missed Calls: Reasons and Solutions. The Sport Journal.




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