The New AI System That Could Replace Your Baseball Umpire Soon

Accuracy in judgments is very important for any game. With the advancement of technology, the transparency in games has improved to a whole new level and now with the addition of technologies like AI, decisions are getting super easy to make.

The advancement in artificial intelligence has changed multiple facets of how the game is played, analyzed and watched. These advancements have helped tech-savvy managers capitalize on powerful players and bring greater victory to their teams.

The game of baseball is going to revolutionize in the future, If you are a baseball fanatic, you will be happy to know that Professional baseball‘s first AI umpire is all set to make a huge contribution in this game, now arguing with an umpire might be a thing of the past.

This new AI system will be going to use as a part of a partnership between the Rockers and the Atlantic League. Both of them will serve as a testing ground, the project team will test this system on various parameters by exposing it to the real-world game and in pressure situations.

As part of a three-year deal, the Atlantic League’s players and coaches are playing the role of guinea pigs for MLB in order to see if automated systems are right for prime time sports and can it be used at the national level games.

The name of this AI system is Trackman. Trackman has been trained to analyze a handful of details about the ball as it breaks the plane in front of the home plate. It can detect velocity, movement, the type of pitch and more.

The Somerset Patriots, based in Bridgewater, New Jersey, let us get full access to the system and we documented our experience in the feature above.

The automated strike zone, developed by TrackMan, caused a kerfuffle in the first inning when Ryan Dent, a batter for the rival York Revolution, walked on one strike and four balls, three of which actually painted the outside of the strike zone, making them viable candidates for a strike call.

In situations like this human umpires have the authority to supersede the computer’s ruling, but umpire Tim Detweiler made no such call. This sparked Viola to express his frustration, at first yelling “do your fucking job” before charging out of the dugout where he was intercepted by the third and first base coaches.

Apparently, his demeanor and language were enough to merit the toss from Detweiler.

Trackman definitely has potential and it seems like it’s just a matter of time before a computer is in charge of the strike zone.

Perhaps 20 years from now baseball fans will look back at a time of human umpires calling balls and strikes and think we were absolutely crazy.

Eventually, it’s likely we’ll see these systems become more robust after all, it was the TrackMan AI’s first day on the job, but for now, they seem problematic for players used to relying on a centuries-old system built on old-fashioned human eyeballing.

Until that happens, however, we’re with Frank on this one. It sure seems like the AI got it wrong and robbed the Rockers of an earned strikeout.

Maybe the baseball world should consider using this tech in college or semi-pro leagues until such a time as it’s ready for The Show.

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