Artificial intelligence is the talk of the town nowadays, and it may soon take over sports. Wimbledon is reportedly keeping their options open in replacing line judges with AI in the future.
As the debate rages on surrounding artificial intelligence, the world of sports seems to be the next avenue where it will be used—and will most likely stir even more contention. This year’s Wimbledon tennis championship is well underway, but the tournament’s director is considering completely doing away with line judges on the court and using AI instead.
Wimbledon May Replace Line Judges with AI
As of right now, no decision has been made, but Jamie Baker, tournament director of the championships, said that it wasn’t ruling anything out. “Line calling obviously is something that is accelerated in the rest of tennis and we are not making any decisions at this point but we are constantly looking at those things as to what the future might hold,” he said in an article by The Guardian. The aim is to maintain a balance of the tournament’s traditions but also move forward with innovation according to the same article.
If Wimbledon does go down the AI route, they won’t be the first. The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP) has saif that by 2025, all men’s matches will utilise Electronic Line Calling Live. AP reported that while chair umpires will be present, line judges will no longer be necessary.
While the argument for AI replacing a human’s job can clearly be made here, one of the upsides with having no line judges is that it will avoid any tense confrontation between a hot-tempered player and an official. Cases like John McEnroe, who infamously berated a line judge for a call he disagreed with, will probably lessen. Unsurprisingly, McEnroe is of the opinion that “you don’t need umpires or linesmen” in tennis.
“If you have this equipment, and it’s accurate, isn’t it nice to know that the correct call’s being made? Had I had it from the very beginning, I would have been more boring, but I would have won more,” McEnroe said in the article by The Guardian.
Whether Wimbledon will utilise AI is yet to be seen, as well as whether players and audiences will accept it or not.
This story originally appeared on Prestige Thailand