AI will monitor offside at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. FIFA President Gianni Infantino said that the upcoming World Cup 2022 will use innovative technology to control the movement of objects on the football field. Its main task is to exclude false or controversial situations with an offside announcement. The prototype for the system was the Video Assistant Referee technology, first tested at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The concept of offside has been one of the most controversial issues in football for many decades. One of the latest clarifications to the FIFA rules states that if a player is in a prohibited position, but does not take active action, then this cannot be called offside. But how do you really understand a player’s motives and evaluate his behavior, especially if he deliberately deceives the referees? For this, new technology has been developed.
How the AI will monitor offside at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?
The basis of the system is a complex of 12 cameras under the roof of the stadium, which monitors all events on the football field. They transmit data at a rate of 50 frames per second and are controlled by AI that tracks up to 29 points on the body of each football player, including all limbs, to recognize his movements. The ball that the football player hits have an inertial measurement unit, it transmits data about its movement at a frequency of 500 times per second.
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Artificial intelligence is influencing more and more facets of the footballing world, from supporting referee decisions to enhancing physical performance and anticipating future ailments to designing and implementing tactics.
Recently, FIFA and UEFA approved the use of Semi-automated Offside Technology (SAOT) for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the 2022 UEFA Super Cup game, and the 2022-2023 UEFA Champions League group stage matches.
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However, this new technology may have more to it than first appears, and there may be contractual traps in store for the unwary.
All information flows to the processing center, where the AI analyzes it and immediately transmits an offside message to the referee on the field. Therefore, the system is semi-automatic – the technique fixes the violation, but the decision about it is made by a person. In addition, the system generates a 3D video showing the violation in full detail to display it on stadium screens for viewing by spectators in the stands. This adds entertainment to the game and helps to deal with controversial issues. As Infantino emphasized, the technology is the culmination of three years of research and testing.
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