ChatGPT Shows Scary Implications Of AI As Insiders Fear The Robot
Everyone is talking about the latest AI project, ChatGPT, and the responses have ranged from excitement to terror. In fact, ChatGPT has become such a cultural phenomenon that the site is operating at overcapacity, and you can’t even get on right now. Kind of like when you call the airline and they ask for your number and say they will text you when you are next in line.
In the meantime, AI is already impacting various industries but none more visible or game changing than the sports business. The reason is that predicting future outcomes are essential to everything in sports. Think about some of the decisions that need to be made in real time. This type of predictive analysis based on data analytics has been around for a while introduced by the Oakland Athletics and its general manager Billy Beane who with a payroll of $44 Million was able to compete favorably with teams like the Yankees with a payroll of $125 Million. His character was famously played by Brad Pitt in the movie ‘’Moneyball,’’based on a book about Beane by the same name.
The basic premise of Moneyball was that statistical analysis, such as slugging percentage and on base percentage, was a more effective way to predict success that the business intuition of baseball insiders comprised of scouts and managers. The owner of the Oakland Athletics at the time, Lew Wolff, took a big gamble in giving Beane the latitude to test his thesis at a time when it was completely unknown. When I spoke to him, Wolff said, “People thought I was crazy to allow Billy to used statistics to make decisions instead of the intuition of the baseball experts.’’
All the major sports league are incorporating AI into everything they are doing particularly from a fan engagement perspective.
The NFL has already joined with AmazonAMZN -2.4% to gather AI insights. For example, they have launched an AI tool that combine seven AI models, including a new model to predict the value of a pass before the ball is thrown, to evaluate quarterback passing performance. The NBA is also incorporating AI into an engagement tool to provide fan with a deep analysis of the performance of teams and player in nearly every conceivable situation.
While ChatGPT currently doesn’t engage in predictive analysis it has made clear the power of AI to gather massive amounts of data can lead to better decision-making as relates to player and game time decisions and the implication for scouts, coaches and general managers These folks have so many important decisions to make critical to the success of the franchise such as:
Who to draft or trade for?
Should a particular player start or be inserted into the game?
In baseball the biggest decisions we see are when to yank a pitcher and which reliever to bring in, or when to pinch hit and who to call on. In basketball and football we have the same type of dilemma— who and when to substitute. Every part of the game is different with different statistics around every single play that occurs. With the power of AI we can literally examine millions of data points in real time to determine a far better predictive analysis than Billy Beane could using just slugging and on base percentage. AI can predict everything from expected performance if a player is inserted in the lineup or game, or a players career expectancy and likelihood of injury.
The implications of all this is that in the future with advance machine learning is daunting. The Lakers are a great example struggling to find the best supporting cast for LeBron James. With advanced AI, you don’t need a general manager to make decisions based on scouting reports or intuition to make the trade, the data will let you know the player that best fits the system. So gone will be GMs and scouts.
Next you talk about the coach. Predictive analysis will tell you when substitutions need to be made. And what plays need to be called. No guess work involved. Imagine the robot coach takes a time out and diagrams the play courtesy of AI. The only caveat is when a super star like LeBron James waives off the play and says he doesn’t want a robot coaching the team. Then the whole thing falls apart.
Lots of people feel that too much AI will lead to a dystopian world. I’m not so sure I disagree. Lebron, what do you think?
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Published on January 24, 2023
Written by Leonard Armato