With the advancement of modern technology, it is no surprise that the world has been relying on artificial intelligence and machine learning for quite some time now.
Currently, these tools are used in various industries to suit the needs of differently-abled individuals. When the power of AI combines with machine learning, corporations and organizations can now drastically enhance people’s lifestyles.
There is no doubt that these have been extremely handy in the corporate world. But did you know that they are also relevant in the sports world?
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have also adapted to use advanced technologies, including AI and ML, to make their event a huge success.
How Were AI and ML Used in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
As mentioned earlier, this year’s Olympics used unique technologies like AI and ML. But where was it used? How was it used? Were they effective? You may have a million questions about this in your mind. But don’t worry, because we are here to answer them all.
This year’s Olympics featured almost 11,000 talented athletes from 206 nations, competing in 33 types of sports. While the Olympics is once in a four-year affair, it is still one of the biggest sports events that people of all ages watch and enjoy.
It comes to be very clear that hosting an event as massive as the Olympics is a herculean task. You need sound infrastructure, easy transportation, a proper waste management system, and a strict accommodation schedule. Additionally, you will also have to maintain a super tight level of security.
In order to make things a little easier, the organizing committee decided to take the help of AI and ML. These technologies were employed in four major aspects at the Olympics this year. They were:
- Facial recognition system
- Navigation inside the sports field
- Keeping a watchful eye on the player’s health
- Smart use of robotics
Convenient Facial Recognition System
As mentioned before, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics featured nearly 11,000 athletes from 206 countries. With such a huge number of talented sportspeople worldwide, it can be quite challenging to quickly identify each person.
To tackle this issue, Tokyo made use of the facial recognition system. That is a remarkable feat as this was the first time emerging technologies were used at the Olympics. Other than the Olympics, plans to use AI-based software like NeoFace were also in place for other events like the 2020 Paralympic Games.
NeoFace is a software that helps keep an eye on people while also linking their photos with IC cards. Moreover, this software is also a part of Bio-IDom’s technology.
In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the host group used AI and ML for safety measures. With a pandemic on one side, it is understandable why safety was a huge concern this year. Using innovative technology, the host group effectively managed crowds while also assessing potential harms, risks, and other threats at a large scale.
Making Navigation Inside the Sports Field Easier
If you have ever watched an Olympics event before, you would know that the size of their stage is as large as life.
There is a good chance of losing your way inside the stadium if you do not know how to navigate it. Luckily, Tokyo had a smart solution for that as well.
The International Olympic Committee partnered with Toyota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to create AI-powered automobiles used to move around the main stadium. Additionally, these vehicles had cameras and sensors for better efficiency.
These were also useful:
- To guide the fans and show them the way
- To help deliver sports equipment and tools to the athletes
Keeping a Watchful Eye on the Players’ Health
With the current pandemic, one of the primary concerns of 2020 was an individual’s physical health. In order to help with this, some of Tokyo’s top tech corporations came up with the idea of making use of various AI-powered products.
This technology helped track and monitor an athlete’s performance and health based on real-time. Additionally, by using AI and ML tech, experts were able to extract and keep an eye on the 3D model of the athlete. With this, they created a stunning 3D mesh that helped sports coaches tap into the biomechanical info of the athlete in real-time.
This way, they were able to determine the health of the individual and make decisions accordingly.
Smart Use of Robots
If we talk about Japan’s most futuristic innovations, we will need to address robotics at some point. It has been an extremely important aspect at the 2020 Olympics because it greatly minimized the risk of transmitting diseases.
With the help of Haneda Robotics Lab, robots were placed at every gateway and entrance; they greeted the spectators as well as honored guests and participants.
However, this was not their only purpose. The robots also served as multilingual guides and assisted in monitoring any suspicious activity during the games. They were instances of robots carrying the luggage of athletes and guests, thereby reducing the need for physical contact.
And that’s not all! This year’s Olympics also featured adorable chatbots installed at all major locations.
Other Uses of AI and Ml at the Olympics
Other than this, the Olympics also used AI for other purposes during the big games. ZMP, a Japanese robot manufacturer, also helped develop special “automatic” taxis that helped transport people from the Tokyo Station to Roppongi Entertainment District.
But enough of this year’s Olympics. What about the previous events? Was AI and/or ML employed then?
Yes, absolutely! The 2017 South Korean Winter Olympics made use of a huge 47-inch humanoid robot called HUBO. The event also used 28 other humanoid robots that helped handle various duties and covered everything from basic responsibilities to the more complex ones.
Even though the 2020 Olympics were postponed by a year, Tokyo was prepared for the event while being mindful of the impact of the global pandemic.
The organizing committee extensively used AI and ML to deal with the usual challenges at a large-scale event. Thanks to these innovations, the host city managed and delivered yet another successful Olympics, regardless of the pandemic.
Therefore, it is safe to say that AI and ML spearheaded the 2020 Summer Olympics.