Paris 2024: Let the AI Games begin 

We are six months away from the opening of the Paris Olympics, where the advancements of artificial intelligence will play a major role in transforming the spectator experience, enhancing athlete performance, and revolutionising event logistics.

Artificial Intelligence, Technology

Declan Evans 19 Jan 2024
4 mins

The world is six-months away from the opening of Paris 2024 – the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad. 

 Beginning in late-July, this year’s Games will create history in a multitude of areas. 

 Paris will follow London to become only the second city to host a third Olympic Games. The Games will also debut four new events – breakdancing, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. 

 And while it’s only been three years since the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo – delayed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic – a lot has changed. 

 The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), in particular generative AI, has left business and industry scrambling to respond to a rapidly changing market. 

Sport is no exception, with organisations, broadcasters and fans exploring the endless possibilities of AI. 

The ball is rolling

In December 2023, Fox Cricket debuted its AI replay system.

The AI Replay technology inserts two additional AI-generated frames to each live frame, providing a smoother picture that fills in gaps between frames. 

Fox’s American namesake, Fox News, has worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide AI-generated highlights since the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

AWS is leading sports innovation, developing Next Gen Stats in collaboration with the National Football League to deliver AI-powered algorithms to analyse player behaviour and game trends. 

Generative AI also featured prominently during last year’s US Masters golf tournament, with the tournament app adopting generative AI broadcasters to provide colour to the thousands of shots captured through TV cameras. 

With the world’s eyes firmly on Paris for the Summer Olympic Games, let’s take a look at how AI may feature as the world watches. 

All eyes on Paris 

Security cameras will use AI to detect suspicious activity in Paris. 

Olympic security was raised to new levels in the wake of the tragedy of Munich in 1972, and as a result has been a major point of discussion and debate ever since: Is it enough. Is it too much? Is it excessively intrusive? 

France’s decision to allow the use of mass surveillance measures powered by AI during the 2024 Olympics has raised further concerns. 

“This decision, which legalizes the use of AI-powered surveillance for the first time in France and the EU, risks permanently transforming France into a dystopian surveillance state, and allowing large-scale violations of human rights elsewhere in the bloc.” – Mher Hakobyan, Amnesty International’s Advocacy Advisor on AI Regulation 

AI will be implemented to help identify unattended bags or suspicious items, and oversee crowd control and behaviour at the Games.  

The technology has been trained using a library of images, with AI configured to notify security when abnormal activity is detected. 

With spectator numbers estimated to exceed 15 million, Paris will have its work cut out dealing with the influx of people in the French capital.  

Support for judges and officials 

Developments in AI technology will now have a significant role in judging and officiating sport.

It has never been a task for the faint hearted, from the time of naked eye decisions to more advanced and sophisticated judging technologies. But the task should be far easier with advancements in AI technology. 

The International Gymnastics Federation has developed a Judging Support System (JSS) for all 10 of the gymnastic apparatuses. 

The technology – originally developed using sensors – allows judges to evaluate the intricacies within gymnasts’ performances through image analysis. 

Following an extended trial period, advancements in AI technology has catapulted the systems accuracy and usefulness. 

The technology is expected to increase fairness and transparency in evaluating performances. 

Raising the bar on performance 

The Olympics present a rare opportunity for athletes, and their niche sports, to gain global exposure. 

For decades, the Games and its athletes have raised the bar on athletic excellence, with competitors innovating for an edge over the world’s best.  

AI has come firmly into the preparations of athletes and coaches for the Paris Games. 

The USA Surfing team, with Microsoft’s help, has been using AI to gather valuable insights into athlete performance, surfboard mechanics, and wave and water patterns. 

While data-heavy sports have been using AI to make sense of mountains of information, the technology is opening new avenues for resource-scarce and emerging sports.  

The USA Olympic team will be hoping its proactive approach to AI can propel them into the surfing medals.  

AI the social media police? 

Increased exposure for Olympic athletes also brings unchartered online criticism and abuse. 

In response to this, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is implementing an AI solution to combat online abuse in real-time. 

The technology will identify abuse and major threats online, alerting relevant parties to ensure an appropriate response. 

Following a pilot at Olympic Esports Week, the technology will look to counteract abhorrent online abuse during the Games. 

The sports world will watch closely as the IOC looks to address an increasingly growing concern. 

Taking the AI leap

Preparations for Paris 2024 indicate that organisations are willing to experiment with AI. 

While it is possible that AI will get some things wrong, organisations across the sports world are exploring advancements in athletic performance, event planning and the viewer experience.  

Whether it’s the IOC, broadcasters or organisations, the Olympic ecosystem is adopting an AI experimentation approach. 

Businesses across industry are harnessing the power of AI. 

Those who are ahead of the game are reaping the benefits. Those stalling are at risk of being left behind. 

If your business is looking to grow its understanding of AI, get in touch with us today and take the first step in your AI journey. 

Declan Evans More from author

Declan is a Senior Consultant in our Corporate Affairs team, working with a range of clients in the manufacturing, technology and property sectors.

With a degree in Mass Communications from Curtin University, Declan brings a passion for writing and communicating through a wide variety of mediums, with a keen interest in writing strategic communications within a crisis space.

Declan has experience in marketing and sales, and after spending time living overseas, found a love for collaborating with a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds.

Out of the office, Declan spends his spare time playing and watching a variety of sports, searching high and low for new music, and exploring the globe.

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