Major League Baseball will use Amazon Web Services as its “official provider for machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning,” the companies announced Tuesday.
MLB uses the Statcast technology in a collaboration with Amazon to analyze player performance in games and said it will work with Amazon engineers to find new uses for the technology to improve broadcasts, the league’s live game app, and otherwise use machine learning to create “more personalized viewer experiences tailored for each market and geographic region.”
The statistics that MLB delivers in near real-time to fans following along with games on MLB.com could be faster and easier to produce with machine learning by eliminating the need for people to input what just happened on a play, Amazon Web Services said in a statement. The stats are also used by TV broadcasters.
“AWS’s broad range of cloud-based machine learning services will enable MLB to eliminate the manual, time-intensive processes associated with record keeping and statistics, such as scorekeeping, capturing game notes, and classifying pitches,” Amazon Web Services said in a press release.
Baseball isn’t the only sport looking to use technology to more quickly and accurately provide stats and information to fans. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the NBA has also been working to upgrade its statistical information technology in a bid to make stats available in near real-time – maybe even faster than the few seconds of delay between when action happens on the court and it is broadcast across the country.
The reason, at least in part, is gambling, the AP reported. In-game betting requires extremely fast release of accurate statistical data. The Supreme Court recently opened the door to states legalizing sports betting.
Last year, the NBA started working with new data software provided by British company Genius Sports, the AP reported. Genius works with sports organizations around the world providing similar data.
Major League Baseball started using Amazon Web Services in 2015 to host Statcast for providing fans with game-day data. MLB didn’t mention gambling in its statement on its reasons for wanting to improve statistical tracking and sharing, saying instead that it simply improves the fan experience.
“Incorporating machine learning into our systems and practices is a great way to take understanding of the game to a whole new level for our fans and the 30 clubs,” Jason Gaedtke, Chief Technology Officer at Major League Baseball said in a press release. “We chose AWS because of their strength, depth, and proven expertise in delivering machine learning services and are looking forward to working with the Amazon ML Solutions Lab on a number of exciting projects, including detecting and automating key events, as well as creating new opportunities to share never-before-seen metrics.”