DAIS to present study which could settle raging Messi-Ronaldo debate - GulfToday

DAIS to present study which could settle raging Messi-Ronaldo debate

Messi-Ronald Debate

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (third right) attends a training along with his team-mates in Sant Joan Despi on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse

Cannot decide who is the better football player, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? The upcoming Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS) Conference and Exhibition could provide some answers.

Professor Jesse Davis from the Department of Computer Science at Belgian research university, KU Leuven, will be at the conference to discuss the remarkable findings of a recent study conducted by KU Leuven and data intelligence company SciSports, which analysed nearly 7,000 matches in seven competitions to see how professional football players perform under pressure and what decisions they make in critical match situations.

The research was presented at the KDD conference in Alaska and won the Best Paper Award for applied data science.

Researchers at KU Leuven and SciSports have developed an algorithm that goes beyond traditional player statistics like the number of goals and assists, and offers a more complete assessment of a player’s performance and contribution to his team.

Their model uses machine learning to assess a football players’ on-the-ball actions and analyse how a particular player performs under pressure, what decision he makes, is his chosen action executed well, and how much impact does the chosen action have on the outcome of the match.

The model takes different parameters like home or away match, matches against traditional rivals, or the impact of the result on the team’s position and league, and the situation of the match into consideration and calculates the pressure minute by minute.

This information is a potential goldmine for coaches when they are choosing their players for a particular game, or for club management in the transfer market.

Being organised under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Sports Council, the two-day DAIS Conference and Exhibition, which will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre’s Sheikh Rashid Hall on Oct.14 and 15, will see many similar discussions take place on the scope of AI’s ability to enhance every facet of the global sports industry. Organised by Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports  will bring together top decision-makers from the world of sport and leading minds and companies from the world of Artificial Intelligence to showcase the benefits of a union between the two.

The list of speakers includes Prof Marc Raibert, who was professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT before founding Boston Dynamics, a robotics company known for creating BigDog, Atlas, Spot, and Handle; Christian Guttmann, a leading scientist and entrepreneur in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science; Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Championship, which uses only electric-powered cars; Bibop Gresta, chairman of crowd-sourced American research company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies; Bryn Balcombe, Chief Strategy Officer for Roborace, a motorsport competition for human and AI drivers; Donnie Nelson, General Manager of American professional basketball team Dallas Mavericks; Colin Webster, President of Intel ESport Federation; Stephane Houdet, a French wheelchair tennis player and former world No1; and Veikka Gustafsson, a Finnish mountaineer who has ascended all 14 of the 8,000m-plus mountains in the world without using supplemental oxygen.

Former world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko and two-time Formula One World Champion, “The Flying Finn” Mika Hakkinen, are also scheduled to address the conference.

Those interested in attending the DAIS Conference and Exhibition, which will be a unique networking platform to pitch and procure AI solutions within the sports industry, need to register through the official website.


What: The Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS) conference and exhibition
When: Oct.14-15, 11am-7pm
Where: Sheikh Rashid Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE

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