Regardless of which side of the fence you are on when it comes to technology in football, you cannot argue that it is here to stay. VAR has been a major talking point around the globe for its impact on matches. In a recent match in Scotland, it wasn’t VAR taking centre stage, but an AI camera, which ruined a football match for fans.
The failure of AI cameras at Inverness
Inverness Caledonian Thistle programmed an AI camera to film its game against Ayr United. Rather than employ a real-life camera person, the club set up an AI camera, in part, to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19.
The idea of having a person-less camera may sound good to technophiles, in practice, they struggled during the game between Inverness and Ayr United. Rather than follow the ball, the AI camera followed the linesman, who was bald. Yes, the person-less camera followed the linesman’s bald head rather than the football during the game.
The match’s commentators had to apologies for the camera’s continued mistakes.
Inverness had proudly stated they were using the Pixellot system, which “uses cameras with in-built, AI, ball-tracking technology”. The cameras are capable of capturing the match in HD footage and allow fans to watch all home matches at Caledonian Stadium. The games “would be broadcast directly to season-ticket holders’ homes”. Unfortunately, Inverness fans were left unhappy with the Pixellot system.
At one pint during the game, the camera with in-built AI focused on the bald linesman at the same time Inverness scored a goal. The maddening part about the camera switching to the linesman’s head was that Inverness’s goal came in the 86th minute and gave the club a draw with Ayr United.
The issue with the camera shows it isn’t just VAR that needs to have the wrinkles ironed out. The club are set to continue with the person-less camera.