Danish start-up Veo is bringing artificial intelligence to football
Danish technology start-up Veo is proposing to bring artificial intelligence to amateur football teams in a bid to help them develop their tactical analysis by offering the ability to record training sessions and matches.
Veo's system would involve two 4K cameras in a 3D printed container, shooting 180-degree panoramic footage of the entire pitch from an elevated position - meaning there is no need for a camera operator.
AI technology is used to track the action and passage of play via virtual panning and zooming on the resulting video file, with the 4K footage offering a high-resolution final product for optimum analysis.
Veo's technology can automatically follow play much like a camera operator, which CEO Henrik Teisbæk said took "nearly two years" to develop and implement.
"Less than 1% of all football matches are currently recorded, mainly due to a lack of resources," commented Teisbæk to TechCrunch.
"In order to record a match or training session, you need a cameraman in an elevated position for 90 minutes, then be able to edit the footage afterwards.
"Most teams simply do not have the resources to cope with this, meaning that millions of unique moments in play are lost and never viewed or shared."
Using a combination of computer vision and neural networks, the AI can edit the footage itself and produce a finished recording - all the football club would need to do is embellish the video with branding.
So far, six football clubs have signed up to the project - including Danish Superliga's FC Nordsjælland and English side Norwich City.
ICO warns of privacy concerns on the use of LFR technology
“I am deeply concerned about the potential for live facial recognition (LFR) technology to be used inappropriately, excessively, or even recklessly. When sensitive personal data is collected on a mass scale without people’s knowledge, choice or control, the impacts could be significant,” said Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner.
Denham explained that with any new technology, building public trust and confidence in the way people’s information is used is crucial so the benefits derived from the technology can be fully realised.
“It is not my role to endorse or ban a technology but, while this technology is developing and not widely deployed, we have an opportunity to ensure it does not expand without due regard for data protection,” Denham added.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has said it will work with organisations to ensure that the use of LFR is lawful, and that a fair balance is struck between their own purposes and the interests and rights of the public. They will also engage with Government, regulators and industry, as well as international colleagues to make sure data protection and innovation can continue to work hand in hand.
What is live facial recognition?
Facial recognition is the process by which a person can be identified or recognised from a digital facial image. Cameras are used to capture these images and FRT software measures and analyses facial features to produce a biometric template. This typically enables the user to identify, authenticate or verify, or categorise individuals.
Live facial recognition (LFR) is a type of FRT that allows this process to take place automatically and in real-time. LFR is typically deployed in a similar way to traditional CCTV in that it is directed towards everyone in a particular area rather than specific individuals. It can capture the biometric data of all individuals passing within range of the camera indiscriminately, as opposed to more targeted “one-to-one” data processing. This can involve the collection of biometric data on a mass scale and there is often a lack of awareness, choice or control for the individual in this process.
Why is biometric data particularly sensitive?
Biometrics are physical or behavioural human characteristics that can be used to digitally identify a person to grant access to systems, devices, or data. Biometric data extracted from a facial image can be used to uniquely identify an individual in a range of different contexts. It can also be used to estimate or infer other characteristics, such as their age, sex, gender, or ethnicity.
The security of the biometric authentication data is vitally important, even more than the security of passwords, since passwords can be easily changed if they are exposed. A fingerprint or retinal scan, however, is immutable.
The UK courts have concluded that “like fingerprints and DNA [a facial biometric template] is information of an “intrinsically private” character.” LFR can collect this data without any direct engagement with the individual. Given that LFR relies on the use of sensitive personal data, the public must have confidence that its use is lawful, fair, transparent, and meets the other standards set out in data protection legislation.