It is pretty well established that we can track data about human movements. this day in age, almost everyone has access to basic data about their movement; take the Fitbit as an example. And now, the technology is getting better and better at collecting data about our movements. More recently, even professional sports are utilizing data science to improve teams’ and individuals athletic performance.
Watch this TED Talks video about the subject:
Essentially, it turns human bodies into dots on a screen. The speaker, Rajiv Maheswaran, describes it as “The science of moving dots.” At first, the machine was only able to recognize simple movements. In basketball, it could identify when someone took a shot, and when someone caught a rebound. But identifying more complicated movements was difficult.
It is hard enough describing a movement, like a post-up or pick and roll, so creating an algorithm to identify it is even more difficult. But, within time, machine learning prevailed. Now, the algorithm can identify things that only professionals can see: like down screens and pick and rolls.
But it’s not just some algorithm that is identifying movements for fun. It is actually helping to change the game, across all sports. Even coaches that have been coaching for 30 years are taking the advice from a machine. The machines are able to identify things that win games…for example, who knew that a pick and roll could actually be the key to winning a game?