Would Saints fans be interested in “Smart Officiating” leveraging artificial intelligence

For the record, I am not a New Orlean Saints fan. My team is the Indianapolis Colts. However, I am an avid sports fan.

With that in mind I ask…how quickly can we replace officials and referees with artificial intelligence?

Watch: Referees Appear to Miss Blatant Pass Interference Call Late in NFC Championship

Here are a few articles I found on the topic.

What would the Super Bowl look like with AI referees?

“It’s late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI. The Falcons are facing third and goal on the Patriots’ five-yard line. Matt Ryan takes the snap and hands off to Devonta Freeman, already running hard at the goal line. Then, with a crunch audible to the topmost rows of NRG Stadium, Freeman is brought down by Dont’a Hightower right at the goal line. Touchdown?! Silence falls as all eyes turn… not to the referees on the sidelines (there aren’t any) but to giant LCD panels behind the end zones. The screens remain black for several long moments until “TOUCHDOWN” lights up. A roar erupts from half of the stadium.

Where were the referees in this fictional account of the upcoming Super Bowl LI? They’ve been automated by artificial intelligence systems hooked up to networks of sensors worn by the players and high-speed cameras strategically positioned throughout the stadium.”


Smart umpiring

“The umpires also analyze data to see how they can improve their officiating. Nili says anything that can help them to get the right call is generally welcomed, adding there has been a long history of augmented umpiring.

“The umpires provide first tier stats like aces and faults,” he explains. “We’ve had a device since the 1980s to record this and since the 1990s with the advent of the internet, we’ve offered live scoring. If you think about it, tennis is the only sport where live scoring comes from the umpire. When the umpire enters 15-0, then it goes to the database, to the mobile phones.

“When you sit in the chair your number one objective is to not miss anything. If there is a technology that can help with that, that’s a positive. It’s not just the mistakes. Sometimes a player will argue with you about a call you got right and not let it go. Now with Hawk-Eye, it shows you got it right.”

In most cases, tennis is a binary sport. A shot is either in or out and there is little room for subjectivity. This would appear to make automated officiating more suitable for tennis than other sports, especially when you consider the number of line judges needed for a top-level match.”


AI sport TAKEOVER: Robot referees to REPLACE humans ‘by 2030’

“A report run by Dr Ian Pearson – who previously told this website robots will be better than Lionel Messi at football by 2045 – says officiating will be among the first aspects of football’s to be taken over by AI.

According to Dr Pearson, football fans will get used to seeing a robot linesman in less than 12 years because AI is not prone to human error.”


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