Putting AI at the service of professional English football


Deepmind is working with Liverpool F.C. to develop intelligent football analytics tools to help hone gameplay. — AFP Relaxnews

The Deepmind startup, which specialises in artificial intelligence, has partnered with the UK’s Liverpool F.C. football club to help give the team coach a helping hand. This is all thanks to a series of algorithms capable of analysing opponents’ gameplay, in order to propose winning strategies and solutions.

A subsidiary of Alphabet Inc (Google), Deepmind has made its name in recent years by successfully developing AI solutions aimed at helping professional players in various fields (Go board game, video games, etc).

With Liverpool F.C., the idea is to put artificial intelligence at the service of sport. Deepmind hopes to develop a sort of virtual assistant that could one day help club coaches with management, optimal team composition and, above all, with setting strategies and tactics to use ahead of matches.

This will largely be possible thanks to the analysis of vast amounts of data. Each player in the Premier League will be analysed and “rated” on various criteria, such as penalties: the way they shoot, their power, their success rate, etc.

To this end, like in a video game, each player will have their own personal spec sheet. Using all these statistics, Deepmind technology will be able to establish particularly appropriate gameplay scenarios, using sophisticated algorithms.

Deepmind believes that football coaches and managers will be using this type of virtual assistant ahead of games in a few years’ time.

What’s more, real-time analysis of gameplay on the pitch could make for some interesting half-time discussions. And while these analytics are focused on soccer, similar systems could be used in other team sports, like basketball.

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