It seems that artificial intelligence (AI) is always just five years away, but it never arrives. Recently, however, developments have made the practical utility of game theory a genuine reality. Will sport provide the petri dish in which AI will prove itself? What do domain specialists like managers and coaches want to know that they can’t currently find out, and can AI provide the answer? What competitive advantages might AI provide for recruitment, performance and tactics, health and fitness, pedagogy, broadcasting, eSports, gambling and stadium design in the future? Written by leading experts in both sports management and AI, AI for Sports begins to answer these and many other questions on the future of AI for sports.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments. About the Authors. Introduction. Part 1 How Did We Get to Where We Are? 1 Before Turing (pre-1950). 2 The Sports Analyst Cometh. 3 Sabermetrics, Moneyball and AI. Part 2 Where Are We Now? 4 Technology Closes the Gap on Theory. 5 The Sports Ecosystem. 6 The Performance. 7 AI in the Game. 8 AI around the Game. Part 3 Where Do We Go from Here? 9 A Future within the Game. 10 A Future around the Game. Conclusion. Index.
Professor Chris Brady is currently the Chief Intelligence Officer at Sportsology, a US-based consultancy to elite sports organizations across the globe. Professor Brady has had a varied working life ranging from a line-worker at Chrysler in Detroit in his teens to managing a bookmaker's shop, from a land surveyor to a semi-professional footballer, from a naval officer to a management consultant. Prior to joining Sportsology he was most recently Professor of Management Studies at Salford University where he founded the Centre for Sports Business which focussed on the production of high quality research with a particular emphasis on statistical analytics and future trend analysis within the global sports industry.
Karl Tuyls (FBCS) is a team lead at DeepMind (Paris, France), an honorary professor of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool, UK, and a Guest Professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Previously, he held academic positions at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Hasselt University, Eindhoven University of Technology, and Maastricht University. Prof. Tuyls has received several awards with his research, amongst which: the Information Technology prize 2000 in Belgium, best demo award at AAMAS’12, winner of various [email protected] competitions ('13, '14), and he was a co-author of the runner-up best paper award at ICML’18. Furthermore, his research has received substantial attention from national and international press and media, most recently his work on Sports Analytics featured in Wired UK. He is a fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS), is on the editorial board of the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, and is editor-in-chief of the Springer briefs series on Intelligent Systems. Prof. Tuyls is also an emeritus member of the board of directors of the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems.
Shayegan Omidshafiei is a senior research scientist in DeepMind’s Game Theory team, where he also co-leads DeepMind’s Sports Analytics effort. His research interests include multiagent systems, reinforcement learning, robotics, and control systems. He previously received his Ph.D. at the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) and Aerospace Controls Laboratory (ACL) at MIT. He received a B.A.Sc. degree from the University of Toronto in 2012, and an S.M. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in 2015. He is co-inventor of 5 patents filed with the United States Patent Office.
“Artificial Intelligence can drive your car, select your favourite music and outfox grandmasters at the chessboard, but it is also becoming a crucial tool in global sports. AI is now able to predict when athletes are most likely to suffer injuries and which areas of their body are most at risk of fatigue. We are at the beginning of the AI age in sports and the next decade is likely to see it become increasingly important to all athletes and teams. In AI for Sports, Brady, Tuyls, and Omidshafiei give readers a glimpse into the future and explain just why AI is not only here to stay, but how it will become central to the thinking of team owners, coaches and athletes.” -- Mark Ogden, ESPN Senior Football Writer
"AI for Sports is the perfect book for the perfect moment; this time when sports are changing rapidly; and teams, executives and athletes are looking at the games that people play through new, fresh and important lenses. Brady, Tuyls, and Omidshafiei explore that new landscape in a unique way, examining the exploding corner of artificial intelligence through a sports-specific lens, but also, and this is important, looking ahead to potential pitfalls to a relatively new approach. For readers who enjoy learning about teams, their famous processes, and how building rosters and getting the most out of players are changing, they won't be disappointed." -- Greg Bishop, Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated
“By providing unique and challenging problems to be solved, and supported by decades’ worth of high-dimensional data streams, the Sports sector can contribute immensely to the development of Artificial Intelligence. In AI for Sports, Brady, Tuyls, & Omidshafiei discuss many different angles and applications within sport which can be supported or improved by the use of AI. It is a truly valuable resource for sports enthusiasts to learn how sports will evolve with the advent of advanced AI, and also for those working in theoretical AI domains to understand the nature of real-world applications and challenges posed by the sports sector.” -- Varuna De-Silva, Senior Lecturer in Machine Intelligence, Loughborough University