IOC Launches Olympic AI Agenda to Drive Global Adoption in Sports

The IOC unveils its "Olympic AI Agenda" to leverage AI across sports, from talent identification to enhancing the viewing experience, sparking both excitement and controversy around its implementation.

Salman Khan
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IOC Launches Olympic AI Agenda to Drive Global Adoption in Sports

IOC Launches Olympic AI Agenda to Drive Global Adoption in Sports

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has unveiled its "Olympic AI Agenda in London, aiming to lead the global implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in sports. The agenda outlines the IOC's vision and ambition to leverage AI across five key focus areas: supporting athletes, ensuring fair competition and safe sport, providing equal access to AI benefits, optimizing Olympic and Paralympic Games operations with a focus on sustainability, and growing engagement with people while driving efficiency across the IOC and sport management.

IOC President Thomas Bach emphasized that the athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement, and AI can help identify talents, provide personalized training, and improve judging, refereeing, and safeguarding in sport. "We are determined to exploit the vast potential of AI in a responsible way to ensure the uniqueness and relevance of the Olympic Games," Bach stated.

Why this matters: The Olympic AI Agenda represents a significant step in the IOC's digital transformation efforts and has the potential to transform how sports are played, officiated, and experienced by athletes and fans alike. As one of the most influential sports organizations in the world, the IOC's embrace of AI could accelerate its adoption across the global sports landscape.

The IOC's AI plans include using the technology to help identify promising athletes, personalize training methods, improve judging, protect athletes from online harassment, and enhance the viewing experience for people watching the games from home. Some AI projects will be rolled out at the upcoming Paris Olympics, with a working group set up to further drive the adoption of AI in sport.

The IOC has partnered with Intel to scout out potential athletes in overlooked places, using AI to analyze the athletic ability of children in Senegal. However, Bach warned against allowing machines to be the ultimate arbiter of a young athlete's career, stressing the importance of preserving opportunities for athletes to pursue different sports.

The local organizers of the Paris 2024 Olympics have sparked controversy with their plans to use AI-powered video surveillance for security, raising concerns about privacy. The IOC expressed confidence in the French authorities' efforts to ensure security at the games.

The launch event in London featured discussions on the practical application and implementation of AI tools in sport by experts from various fields. The development of the Olympic AI Agenda has been supported by the IOC's Worldwide Olympic Partners and Media Rights Holders, who have expressed their commitment to the digital transformation of the Olympic Games.

Key Takeaways

  • IOC launches "Olympic AI Agenda" to leverage AI in sports across 5 key areas
  • AI can help identify talents, personalize training, improve judging, and enhance fan experience
  • AI projects to be rolled out at Paris 2024 Olympics, with a working group to drive adoption
  • IOC partners with Intel to use AI to scout promising athletes in overlooked places
  • Paris 2024 organizers' plan to use AI-powered surveillance raises privacy concerns