Technology, isn’t it fantastic? Since I have become an avid football fan, a number of technologies have been introduced into the game to assist our referees, coaches, managers and players. We have the Video assistant Referee, (or VAR for short), goal line technology, in depth sports science, player in game tracking, and now an AI assistant coach.
You heard me correctly – an artificial intelligence coach. Let me give you some details. The device was designed by a group of AI experts at GreenShoot Labs in the UK. It uses a reasoning engine to determine a team’s formation and tactics against any given opponent. Just like most AI systems, it collects the data it is given and over time, learns from previous match results, attempting to give a better recommendation for the next match.
The device was commissioned by the Big Bang Fair in the UK, a young scientist and engineers fair, all because they have a love for football, (nawwww). The AI uses an Amazon Echo to be able to receive information from the coaches. They will provide information like fitness levels, strengths, weaknesses, formations, details about the opposing team and any information that you would expect an assistant coach to have.
It is unlikely at this point in time that we will see the AI coach helping out an English Premier League club like Manchester United or assist in determining what tactics Barcelona should use in its upcoming UEFA Champions League game. But in this ever changing world of technology, you just can’t tell what will happen next.
This being said, the AI coach is being used in a football match on the 9th of February! The lucky team that get to debut the device is Wingate & Finchley FC who currently play in the seventh division of English football, (gotta start somewhere).
I, for one, will be eager to watch how this device grows over time with its knowledge and how influential it becomes, if at all. If you’re somebody who enjoys and follows technology, you will already know that most AI systems become more sophisticated and accurate with the more information it learns. It will great to see how the device performs and I will try to provide an update after it makes its debut against in Wingate’s & Finchley’s match against Brighton’s Whitehawk FC.
According to GreenShoot Labs, the intention of this device is for the AI football coach to become a downloadable Alexa skill on Amazon devices that anyone can use. Who knows? You may see one of these devices in a few years time on the sideline providing helpful information to Jurgen Klopp on what substitutions to make. Or being used on the training field to suggest drills for upcoming matches.
As we know the possibilities are endless! What are your thoughts? Are you eager to see how this plays out? Or do you not enjoy the additional technology creeping into our game?
Let me know in the comments below!