AI And Racing: Do The Two Really Go Together?

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Innovation is important in any industry, but it’s especially important for entertainment, where the goal is to provide complete immersion.

Over the last decade or so, there have been a number of digital advancements to make sports, games, and media more immersive for consumers, but using tech to make live experiences better is becoming just as important. This is why the world of horse racing has steadily been introducing AI into its orbit.

For those unaware – or living under a rock – AI has become a pretty big deal over the last two years. While at one point, it felt like a far-off future, it is now a full-blown reality, and a number of industries have begun to take advantage.

One of the most prominent industries to use AI is the horse racing industry. Horse racing has been looking to completely integrate AI into live race days to grow the immersive power of the races themselves, but are things going a little too far?

AI In Horse Racing

In an article published late last year, wrote about the integration of computer vision technology into live horse racing. According to them, horse racing viewers might soon be able to wear AI-powered VR overlays to give them vital information as a race is ongoing. It will do this by overlaying real-time statistics, figures, and performance metrics that will “enhance the engagement of fans and build the excitement.”

As well as this, AI might prove to be an even more valuable tool to predict the outcome of races. At the moment, predictive analytics and algorithms can provide valuable insights for betters, giving them an idea of the horses due to take to the course, their past records, and the success of the jockeys. AI, however, can provide even more detailed data, including factors such as the weather and the terrain – once again, in real-time.

Do They Go Together?

So do the two really go together? Well, in our opinion, they do. But not exactly in the way that we’ve just described. While using VR to attain data during a race might be alright for some, we can’t see spectators adding VR headsets to their apparel when weighing up what to wear at the Royal Ascot. This is because VR won’t greatly enhance the experience and immersion that is so important.

To be immersed in a sport, a game, or any other form of media, it’s important to live in the moment and really experience what is happening in front of you. Horse racing isn’t about statistics, or data, or variables. Or at least, it isn’t during the race.

Beforehand, all of these statistics might be important, but when the race is ongoing, it’s all about the drama and the performance. It’s about enjoying the spectacle, not keeping a constant eye on data. It’s important, then, if the horse racing industry wants to use AI to further immerse the audience, that it does so in a way that won’t detract from this spectacle.

AI To Keep Horses Safe

That being said, there are areas of AI and horse racing that are definitely beneficial right now – not for the spectators, but for the racers. Because AI can sort through and analyse vast amounts of data, it can be used to identify patterns in a horse’s behaviour that might point to fatigue, or potentially even an injury.

Trainers and owners of these horses can use this data to weigh up risks and adjust their training sessions accordingly. This is something that can be incredibly beneficial for horse welfare, ensuring that horses remain fit and healthy, and trainers can be as risk-averse as possible during the training programme.

In our opinion, this is where AI can really benefit the horse racing industry, and it shows that the two certainly go together. In fact, AI can go together with any industry, so long as it is used properly!

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