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Robot umpires? Let's leave baseball to real, live human beings.


I have nothing against progress. Some of my best friends are traveling shoe salesmen, and I can't tell you how many times my stone hand ax has come in handy around the cave. But I can't shake the feeling we've gone a tad too far with technology. The latest assault on our humanity came Thursday, when news broke that Major League Baseball would use an automated strike zone at Triple-A this season. It means robot umpires will be one heartbeat from the big leagues -- a ''heartbeat'' being that thing once used to deduce whether a ''person'' was alive.

'Robot umpires' coming to Triple A ball this year after tryout in lower leagues

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Robotic umpires that use an automated system for determining ball and strike calls will now be used in Triple-A baseball for the 2022 season, MLB officials announced. This puts the Automated Ball and Strike (ABS) system, which has seen success after experimental adoption by some ballparks in the minor leagues, just one level below the major leagues. MLB'S SNAIL-PACED LOCKOUT TALKS TO RESUME WITH UNION OFFER MLB is currently seeking personnel to operate the system at ballparks for the Albuquerque Isotopes, Charlotte Knights, El Paso Chihuahuas, Las Vegas Aviators, Oklahoma City Dodgers, Reno Aces, Round Rock Express, Sacramento River Cats, Salt Lake Bees, Sugar Land Skeeters and Tacoma Rainiers, FOX 13 of Seattle reported.

How Can AI and Data Science Make IPL 2021 More Interesting?


Technology helps in tracking things ball speed, camera in the stump, third umpiring, etc. And now this has taken a new form. In this article, we will focus on IPL 2021 and the use of AI and data science. Without an umpire we cannot imagine cricket, right? But with technology, this won't be so far.

Invasion of the Robot Umpires

The New Yorker

Grown men wearing tights like to yell terrible things at Fred DeJesus. DeJesus is an umpire in the outer constellations of professional baseball, where he's been spat on and, once, challenged to a postgame fight in a parking lot. He was born in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to Puerto Rican parents, stands five feet three, and is shaped, in his chest protector, like a fire hydrant; he once ejected a player for saying that he suffered from "little-man syndrome." Two years ago, DeJesus became the first umpire in a regular-season game anywhere to use something called the Automated Ball-Strike System. Most players refer to it as the "robo-umpire."

Robot umps and dogs, minor league ball back after lost year

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on It took just four batters at George Steinbrenner Field before a fan yelled "C'mon, blue!" toward home plate umpire Kaleb Devier after two consecutive close pitches were called balls. Never mind that a computer was making the calls. Didn't matter on Tuesday night as the Tampa Tarpons took on the Dunedin Blue Jays.

The AI Lords Of Sports: How The SportsTech Is Changing Business World


It is the time of the fall classic, Major League Baseball's World Series. As the two best teams vie for the championship this year, there are some actors in the game beyond the players, coaches, umpires (or referees), and fans… namely big data, analytics, and artificial intelligence. These new actors are also highly prevalent in football, basketball, and hockey, and they are changing these games forever. Sports foray into technology and data really got its start in 2002 with the Oakland Athletics. General Manager Billy Beane and Assistant GM Paul DePodesta would pioneer sabermetrics, which is a new perspective on baseball analytics.

Human Fallibility and the Case for Robot Baseball Umpires


I, for one, will welcome our robot umpire overlords, at least when it comes to calling balls and strikes. The automated strike zone is coming, probably within the next three seasons, and I am here for it. If you've spent any time on Twitter during baseball season, especially the postseason the last few years, you've probably stumbled on fans arguing for #RobotUmpsNow against those who argue for "the human element," two sides of the ongoing debate over whether baseball should move to automated calling of balls and strikes. It came up yet again in the 2019 World Series, when umpire Lance Barksdale missed two obvious calls in Game 5, one of which he openly blamed on Washington catcher Yan Gomes, which led Nationals manager Davey Martinez to yell at Barksdale to "wake up," and another so egregious that the victim, Victor Robles, jumped in anger and tossed his batting gloves after Barksdale called him out on a pitch that never even saw the strike zone. Both calls were bad, and in both cases there was at least the appearance that Barksdale was punishing the Nationals--punishing Gomes for assuming the strike call before it happened, then punishing the whole team later for questioning him in the first place.

Data analytics is rife in tennis, but could AI replace humans entirely?


A robot arm strikes a tennis ball, serving it at 220 miles per hour. From the opposing side of the court, another robot returns the serve and the two machines engage in a 427 stroke rally. An automated umpire decides, instantly, that the ball was out by a hair's breadth. This is the hypothetical, somewhat dystopian image conjured by Chris Brauer, director of innovation at the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, at a recent panel discussion about the use of data analytics and technology in tennis. While steeped in tradition, tennis has embraced technology on multiple fronts: coaching, umpiring and fan experiences.

Predicting balls and strikes using TensorFlow.js


D3.js, and the power of the web to visualize the process of training a model to predict balls (blue areas) and strikes (orange areas) from baseball data. As we go, we'll visualize the strike zone the model understands throughout training. You can run this model entirely in the browser by visiting this Observable notebook. Today's professional sports environment is packed with large amounts of data. This data is being applied to all sorts of use cases by teams, hobbyists, and fans.

MLB's top prospects deal with good, bad of 'robot' umpires

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for Oct. 25 are here. Check out what's clicking on First baseman Ali Sanchez was standing in the on-deck circle so he had a great vantage point of the two-strike breaking ball to Jacob Heyward. It finished so low that by the time it reached the catcher it nearly bounced in the dirt. Sanchez -- like everybody else who was watching this game on a Tuesday night in the Arizona Fall League -- had an immediate mental reaction.