AI Camera Mistakes Referee's Bald Head for Ball, Ruining Game for Viewers
Artificial intelligence (AI) is being increasingly used in many mediums with mixed results. The technology is after all still in its infancy and could often do with a little tweaking.
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Such is the case with these new AI cameras employed by Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC (ICTFC) to cover their games. When filming a match this week against opponents Ayr United the robot cameras, who are trained to follow the ball, kept mistaking a referee's bald head with the ball.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle don’t employ a cameraman as their camera is programmed to follow the ball throughout the match. The commentator had to apologise today as the camera kept on mistaking the ball for the linesman’s head... pic.twitter.com/LeKsc2bEj7— Tom Cox (@seagull81) October 24, 2020
The end result was a hilarious match that saw mostly the referee in focus. This, however, did not seem as funny to the team's fans who were all following from home because of the coronavirus.
A few weeks ago, ICTFC revealed to fans that it would no longer be using human cameramen.
"ICTFC will utilize live footage supplied by the newly installed Pixellot camera system installed at Caledonian Stadium. The Pixellot system uses cameras with in-built, AI, ball-tracking technology to produce live HD footage of all home SPFL Championship matches at Caledonian Stadium, which will then be broadcast directly to ICTFC Season Ticket holders and those purchasing a PPV match via a centrally operated streaming platform at StreamAMG," said the club.
Little did the club know it would result in such hilarity. Viewers of the match complained that they kept missing their team's goals due to the robot cameras' shoddy performance.
The viewers suggested that the referee be equipped with either a toupe or a hat in order to lessen the AI's confusion. The whole story is humorous for whoever reads it, but we can understand how frustrating it must have been for fans of both the teams playing.
Perhaps the Pixellot system will be adjusted to perform better in future matches? In the meantime, the incident shows that maybe not all humans need to be replaced by robots.