AI, though more powerful than ever before, is clearly still a “brittle beast.” Check out this soccer player’s bald head as an example.
A Scottish soccer team, hoping to cut down on the amount of staff needed to live stream games, used an automatic AI camera tracking system to ensure their audience could watch as the ball made its way around the field.
But one of the linesmen is bald, which confused — and attracted — the AI:
As you can see, the AI thought that shiner of a scalp was actually a soccer ball, and it kept forcing the camera to focus back on the player instead of the ball.
According to a Verge report:
Pixellot, the company that makes the camera technology used by Inverness Caledonian Thistle, confirmed to The Verge that the problem was caused by visual similarities between the linesman’s head and the soccer ball. They noted that the angle of the camera didn’t help, as it made it seem as if the linesman’s head was inside the boundaries of the pitch, and the game ball itself was yellow, which added to the confusion. The company said the error was fixed shortly after the game ended.
I remember my eighth grade computer science teacher once told us: “a computer’s main problem is that it does exactly what you tell it to: nothing more, nothing less.”
At that time, prior to huge advancements in artificial intelligence and, truly, before the phrase “AI” was even a thing we heard much, I took this to mean that I needed to know all the ins and outs of my Dell desktop, else I risked entering a prompt which wouldn’t make sense to the machine.
But, of course, that teacher’s words have much more weight these days.
As we begin to see AI adopted into so many different use cases, it’s important to remember to program the application for situations where a machine can’t see something a human can.