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4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Was Used At The Rio Olympics

August 22nd, 2016

1. AI playlist prepared wrestlers

The US Olympic wrestling team listened to music composed by artificial intelligence to prepare for their matches. Created by, the music is designed to provoke three types of neurological brain states: relaxation, focus or sleep. Team Coach Matt Lindland told Newsweek that the athletes were ‘sleeping better and are more recovered for practice the next day’.


2. AI reporting used by The Washington Post

The Washington Post used AI in its olympics reporting. To free up its human journalists for more interesting and complex work, artificial intelligence posted about scores, medal counts, and other news involving data, all without human intervention. Here are some tweets it posted:


3. AI optimised athletes’ training

AI also maximised the impact of training for many athletes competing in the games. Barbara Kendall, former Olympic medalist, explains how ‘sports teams are putting robotic sensors in athletic clothing and equipment, gathering data when athletes are wearing or using them, and then leveraging the data in all sorts of ways: from providing sports fans with real time stats and coaches with data to help them inform and coach performance.’


4. AI predicted the medalists

AI was even used to predict the winners. A company called Unanimous A.I., which develops technologies for Swarm Intelligence, gave their AI the task of forecasting swimming medals. It anticipated three more golds for Phelps, although he ended up winning five! Read all of its predictions here.

With the rapid pace of developments in AI technology and its use we should expect the intelligence revolution to radically transform future Olympics. We already know that at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics automatic translation services, using AI, will be available in real time for athletes and visitors in seven languages.   Who knows what other AI applications will be available by the time the Olympics roadshow pulls into Tokyo in 2020.