The use of AI in the sporting world is not new. In recent years we’ve seen the advent of wearables, player performance analytics and improved video capturing of live matches, revolutionise game play. Technology has made sports faster more captivating than ever before. We’ve seen AI improve how we play, watch and experience sport, but how about using AI to invent a sport?
The design agency AKQA has done just that. Introducing Speedgate, the world’s first sport invented by AI. Data from 400 sports around the world was fed into a neural network which churned out rules and concepts for gameplay. Speedgate was chosen as the best output, after being test-played by the company. The AI also created a motto for Speedgate – ‘face the ball to be the ball to be above the ball’.
As the World Economic Forum reports, Speedgate is a team sport that involves kicking a ball around a field with three gates. It merges concepts from croquet, rugby and soccer, making it a Frankenstein of sports that is at once both familiar and truly bizarre. Like rugby, two opposing teams compete to pass, kick or throw a ball through the two gates at the two ends of the field. However, players must first kick the ball through the middle gate to gain ‘possession’, before their team can score in either of the end gates. Catching the scoring ball and kicking it back through the posts, bumps the goal from two points to three. There are three defenders and three forwards on each team and the game is played in three seven-minute intervals. Again, like rugby, the ball must be passed or kicked within three seconds of receiving it.
Want to play? You will need to find yourself two teams of six players; a rugby ball (their website recommends a size 4 training ball) in lieu of an Official Speedgate ball which is still being developed for market; and a pair of six foot high posts for each gate (agility training slalom poles will do).
Find out more about Speedgate through their website