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4 weeks ago
AI Camera Operator Repeatedly Confuses Bald Head for Soccer Ball During Live Stream

Originally published in The Verge, Nov 20, 2020.

AI researchers sometimes refer to machine learning technology as “brittle.” By this, they mean that artificial intelligence lacks a human’s understanding of real world complexities, with the end result being that AI systems sometimes break in quick and unexpected ways.

For a more practical illustration of what “brittleness” means, though, simply consider the case of the AI camera operator deployed by Scottish soccer team Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC. When the pandemic stopped fans attending matches, the club announced it would live stream its games, using an automatic camera system with “in-built, AI, ball-tracking technology” to make sure people always get the best view of the action.

But, during a recent live stream of matches, the AI camera operator repeatedly (and to great effect) confused a linesman’s bald head for the soccer ball itself. In a compilation video below with an excellent soundtrack you can see the end result. It’s like the AI has a crush on the linesman, and can’t help but zoom in on his beautiful, gleaming bonce.

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