In times of social distancing, technology can help in football. But not in Scotland. The Inverness Caledonian Thistle team, for example, uses an artificial intelligence camera system to broadcast the game. Digital eyes follow the ball and so there is no need for a human operator. In theory… because in this way you also risk to see the bald head of a linesman instead of the… ball.
The Inverness Caledonian Thistle payed against Ayr United last October 24th presented the limits of this technology. The bald head of a linesman confused the robotic system that mistook it for the ball. As a result, fans at home often saw the shiny skull move across the field while the ball was somewhere else. The worst moment, however, was at 86′, when Nikola Todorov scored the draw goal for Inverness and the fans saw only that shiny round bold head of the linesman.
The commentator could only apologize for the continuous mistakes: apparently there was no way to correct that not so… intelligent artificial intelligence.
Actually automatic systems are very widespread in the minor series all over the world. Inverness uses Veo, one of the most important Danish companies in the sector, which for 1,200 euros a one-off plus 600 euros annual subscription provides the camera, tripod and platform to watch the game.
With a minimal expense it allows small clubs to have operator and director just like larger teams while the artificial intelligence recognizes kicks and goals and creates the highlights independently.
Thankfully Pierluigi Collina has retired…