• Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sports

Indian tech experts embrace AI for development goals

Rohn Malhotra, co-founder and managing director of Sports TechX, and Preeti Shetty, founder and CEO of tech social enterprise Upshot, joined the debate

Preeti Shetty, founder and CEO, Upshot (2nd from R) and Rohn Malhotra, co-founder (R) and managing director of Sports Tech along with other speakers at the event.

By: Pramod Thomas

TWO Indian sports tech innovators joined academics and other experts for the annual Commonwealth Debate on Sport and Sustainable Development in London, which concluded that artificial intelligence (AI) in sports can be harnessed and leveraged to meet the UN development goals faster.

Rohn Malhotra, co-founder and managing director of Sports TechX, and Preeti Shetty, founder and CEO of tech social enterprise Upshot, joined the debate in time for the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace – marked annually on April 6.

The debate sought to highlight the pros and cons and the team advocating for the greater use of AI within ethical frameworks won the argument.

“AI is a powerful tool, but one we must treat very carefully to prevent us from hindering the achievement of the SDG goals,” said Malhotra, whose company helps track innovation in sports.

Shetty, meanwhile, spoke about how AI closes the gender disparity gap even faster because it can use data to identify inequality and highlight disparities, which would enhance fairness in sports and foster peace.

“Consider the potential of AI to bridge the digital divide, to shape ethics and governance, and to counter misinformation on a global scale. None of these tools and platforms are a dream. They all exist right now and they are the blueprint for the future, a future in which sport and AI together can foster a global society that values and practices inclusion at every level,” said Shetty, who also serves as non-executive director of the Brentford Football Club, a Premier League team.

“The journey ahead requires us to form a better relationship with technology, not to be scared of it. Picture a world where AI can detect and counteract in real time hate speech and racism, both online and in stadiums, creating a safe environment where athletes and fans can be celebrated and protected. By embracing AI, the sports sector has the opportunity to lead by example,” she said.

The debate, hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat in partnership with the Sports for Development Coalition, was aimed at encouraging spirited conversations about the opportunities and threats of AI in the world of sport and address how AI-led solutions can impact social development in health, education, and youth engagement.

“Sport is more than just a game. It is the universal language that can transcend boundaries, cultures and backgrounds. This year’s debate will enable insightful conversations around the opportunities and threats of AI in the world of sport and address how AI-led solutions can impact social development in health, education, and youth engagement,” said Commonwealth deputy secretary-general Dr Arjoon Suddhoo.

The debate at the Commonwealth Secretariat in Marlborough House, London, was attended by Commonwealth high commissioners, senior government officials, representatives from Commonwealth accredited organisations, and sports professionals.

(PTI)

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