Dubai: Rapid strides in technological field will soon witness a group of robots capable of defeating a highly-rated football team such as Real Madrid or setting a new 100-metre record, according to one of the brightest minds from the world of artificial intelligence (AI).
German-Australian scientist and entrepreneur Dr Christian Guttmann, one of the key speakers at the two-day Dubai Artificial Intelligence in Sports (DAIS), is convinced that world standards set by Usain Bolt, for example, will soon be a thing of the past — thanks to the assistance of AI. “We can have a human being running the 100 metres under nine seconds, just like we had a new unofficial world record in marathon last week,” Dr Guttmann told Gulf News on the sidelines of DAIS.
Bolt set a new mark of 9.58 seconds in the men’s 100 metres in 2009, while the women’s mark of 10.49 seconds set by American Florence Griffith-Joyner has been untouched since 1988. “A few years back, no one must have thought that a marathon could be run in under two hours. But last week, we saw the Kenyan [Eliud Kipchoge] become the first man to do exactly that,” Dr Guttmann said.
Kipchoge’s time of 1:59.40 is the fastest any runner has ever covered 26.2 miles in as the Kenyan carved two minutes off his own world record at a park in Vienna. A day later, countrywoman Brigid Kosgei’s new record of 2:14.04 bettered Paula Radcliff’s mark of 2:15.25 set in 2003.
“Yes, it is absolutely possible for someone to run a time of sub-nine secs in the 100 metres. In today’s world, one can create technology around the athlete. The marathon runner [Kipchoge] last week had special shoes along with the pace-setters, highly-tailored personalized sport equipment that was meant to assist the athlete in achieving his best. Such use of very specific use of technology will give the athlete at least a two per cent added advantage in performance,” Dr Guttmann noted.
“He [Kipchoge] received a lot of support to achieve his world mark. It wasn’t just him alone as it would have been say 50 years ago. What we need to understand is that AI is very similar and it is being used more and more in our lives each day,” he added.
“Then we have the other aspects such as nutrition, planning, exercise schedule during the build-up that are hyper-personalised and hyper-optimised so that the athlete and the sport keeps raising the standard all the time. So, when you consider all this, any athlete can be in a position of bettering records and setting new standards in sports where running the 100 metres in 8.9 seconds or even 8.5 seconds will be possible,” Guttmann said.
The same yardstick is also applicable for any other sport, like football for example. “Football has changed for the better over the years. Perhaps, we never thought the sport would have been so quick and physical a few years ago. It won’t be too long, maybe by 2050 when a team of robots could actually be in a position to defeat a top-level team like Real Madrid,” Dr Guttmann added.