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How are the current trends in tech impacting the sports sector

February 9, 2024

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The AI revolution and digitalisation are the buzzwords of 2024. In a sector where digitalisation and AI can enhance our experience of sport, from OTT services and interactive communities to enhancing public health and improving athlete and coaching performance, there are many ways that technology can improve the sports sector.

So, what are the latest trends affecting the sports sector?


Sports coaches are facing financial challenges

Gig workers face challenges accessing financial products due to a lack of comprehensive data for credit risk assessment. Traditional credit scoring methods are inadequate for capturing the professional behaviours of gig workers. There is a real need to close the data gap by obtaining a complete view of a worker’s income.

The Fintech Times also reports that 70% of all UK gig workers struggle to get approved access to financial products. The implications extend to housing, with a considerable percentage losing the opportunity to secure new homes despite having the financial means. The root cause of this financial exclusion lies in the limited transparency of income and employment data for gig workers compared to their PAYE counterparts.

Fitness professionals will often take on part-time or flexible work, working with schools, gyms, and even in sports-related marketing roles. Whilst financial institutions have acknowledged the shortcomings, platforms using AI or digitalisation are great opportunities to track and support this growing area of the employment sector.


AI adoption is leading to serious controversies

Sports Illustrated found itself at the centre of a controversy after being accused of publishing articles written by artificial intelligence (AI) under fake author names. The AI-generated articles, including those by fictitious authors, were reportedly published without proper disclosure.

This incident has raised concerns about the use of AI in journalism and its potential impact on the media industry. The controversy has also led to the dismissal of the CEO of Arena Group, the owner of Sports Illustrated, and the severing of ties with the third-party advertiser responsible for the content.

The use of AI in the sports sector, particularly in content creation, has sparked a debate about ethical standards and the need for transparency in disclosing AI-generated content. Whilst there has been a growing demand for AI-based solutions in player tracking, real-time data analytics, sports betting and prediction, further clarity is necessary for consumer trust.

Even AI advocates have argued that human vetting and management are necessary with AI-generated content as it continues to evolve. Without that oversight, AI content creation will continue to create controversy, when it should be releasing workloads with simple automations.


Human editors are necessary for AI adoption

The author highlights that while AI offers benefits such as efficiency, scalability, and improved customer experiences, it is most effective when combined with human intelligence. Business leaders need to carefully assess their organisation’s needs to understand the potential benefits and risks of AI and develop a strategic approach to leverage its capabilities effectively.

Businesses need to view AI as a tool to augment human capabilities rather than a replacement for human workers. Senior leaders should foster a learning culture, provide clear communication, and demonstrate the benefits of AI implementation so business decision-makers can address concerns and drive business growth.

For example, automation that creates reporting measures, activities registers and email trains can be incredibly useful in reducing workloads. However, for example, creating consumer emails that favour a customer’s interests requires staff intervention and building cadres of information that can inform those consumer emails.

This is one of the key areas for development in 2024, upselling current customers in an economic period that is putting huge stress on consumer pockets.

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