Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: how baseball players are using AI tools to improve without full control over their data, Atlassian suffers a multi-day Jira outage at a bad time, and this week in the company’s tech moves.
We are approaching a cloud computing inflection point, according to research published Thursday by Foundry. Over the next 18 months, 63% of IT organizations expect “most or all” of their workloads to run on cloud servers, up from 41% who have reached that status today.
Put me in, neural network
Purdue University outfielders Cam Thompson and Curtis Washington Jr. are among thousands of college baseball players who have access to more data-driven technology than ever before to use in hopes of making it to the majors.
“I was the slowest on the team,” Thompson said in a video describing Purdue’s use of 3D Athlete Tracking Technology (3DAT) developed by Intel, which captures video footage and applies computer vision and deep learning to digitize an individual player’s skeletal data and calculate biomechanics . The data and analytic information gave Thompson and his coaches insight that revealed he was leaning slightly when throwing from a base.
- For college players like Thompson and Washington Jr., as well as professional athletes in all sports, the use of data showing how their bodies move, breathe, sleep and recover from injury is becoming commonplace.
- In fact, while money was at the heart of the excruciatingly protracted negotiations this winter between Major League Baseball and its players’ union, a clause in the final collective agreement treats data reflecting players’ bodies as another form of currency used. to assess their value.
- The new collective bargaining agreement prohibits MLB and any of its teams from selling and/or licensing a player’s confidential medical information, personal biometric data or any non-public data.
- Right away, bettors and sports betting companies saw the new data rules as a clear sign that players recognized the potential for their body data points to be used by players to predict player or team performance. specific.
The use of data measuring player agility or injury recovery progress – or revealing the impact of nutrition, sleep and hydration on their performance – has implications not just for betting, but for an athlete’s entire career trajectory. These athletes have little control and few rights over the data associated with the very bodies that dictate their future.
- “Very few organizations cover it in their union contracts,” said Kimberly Houser, a professor specializing in emerging technology law at the University of North Texas who studies the use of athlete biometric data.
- Even the recently concluded contract between MLB and the MLB Players Association does not mention manufacturers of devices that facilitate data collection and analysis, Houser said.
Access to the 3DAT system has nothing to do with betting for John Madia, Director of Baseball Player Development at Purdue.
- It’s about helping the college’s players improve and giving its scouts a leg up on elite schools, many of which can not only afford to equip athletes with physical sensors. to track their body movements, but could already collect and monitor their blood, urine, sweat, and/or sleep patterns to assess their nutritional status in hopes of maximizing performance and injury recovery time.
- “I look at dozens of things a day and I’m like, ‘So what? How does this translate into victory? “Madia said. “From a recruiting perspective, it’s such a cool thing for Purdue.”
- In the past, old-school techniques such as timing a player’s speed with a watch or measuring the speed of a pitch with a radar gun offered only a glimpse of the skills players players needed to improve, but not how.
- And unlike earlier technologies that required gamers to wear sensors that could impede their natural movement, one of the advantages of Intel’s technology is its use of standard video footage captured using a video camera. cellphone.
But while Intel and AiScout reps tout the potential benefits for AI-based phone applications to level real and figurative playing fields for athletes and non-athletes, future uses of the data collected and created by these systems are largely unknown, leaving unanswered questions about ownership data, control and privacy risks .
- For example, if a doctor or team medical staff or other entity covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act used the data, it would likely be subject to the protections associated with that federal law, a said Kate Black, health service partner at Hintze Law. and Biotech Privacy Group.
- However, when manufacturers of wearables or other devices collect and analyze data about a person’s body or health characteristics, the data may not be covered by HIPAA, Houser said.
- It’s also unclear how state privacy or biometrics laws might apply. For example, while Illinois’ biometric information privacy law focuses on the use of identifiable physical characteristics such as retina/iris scans, voice prints, and fingerprints, it covers also “a scan of [a] hand or face geometry.
- “It’s very likely, in my view, that cases will be brought under state biometric laws,” Black said.
Player data collected, combined and analyzed over time could create unintended consequences for athletes, Black and Houser said.
- “Data silos continue to break down,” Black said. “Bringing together assessments of an individual’s health or fitness that combine their medical history, X-rays, biometrics, genetic information – I don’t think that’s too far off from creating a performance score or a individual risk score that could be used to inform [an athlete’s] recruiting for use in any sport.
- “If someone can infer that an athlete’s physique is deteriorating, they could use that against an athlete,” Houser told Protocol.
- And, since there is often no negotiating organization representing college players in such situations, they could be forced to give up their rights to the data in exchange for maintaining their scholarships, she continued. “They are in a much worse position than professional athletes.”
-Kate Kaye (E-mail | Twitter)
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High Priority Issues
Outages are a reality for cloud service providers, but in general, it’s best to avoid them whenever possible during a big week for your business.
Atlassian found itself in that situation this week, suffering a multi-day outage of its key Jira bug tracking tool that began Tuesday and was still ongoing Thursday afternoon, according to its status page. TechTarget reported that Atlassian blamed the outage on “a routine maintenance script” that went wrong and “a small number of sites were unintentionally disabled, preventing them from accessing their products and data.”
Any outage spanning more than a day is bad enough, but this week also saw Atlassian’s big Team 22 conference, where it showcased several new products and welcomed customers to Las Vegas. The company told TechTarget that “hundreds” of engineers were involved in the recovery effort, which will lead Atlassian to adopt automated recovery processes in the future.
—Tom Krazit (E-mail | Twitter)
Coming to Protocol
Net zero. Carbon offsets. Scope 3 emissions. These are just a few of the terms you’ll find in Big Tech’s climate plans. Understanding what they actually mean is key to ensuring the industry achieves its goals – and understanding if those goals are the right ones.
Join Protocol’s Brian Kahn for a virtual event on April 19 at 10:00 a.m. PT, where he’ll speak with some of the people responsible for setting these goals and the experts monitoring them to find out what tech companies are really doing. Joining Brian will be Suzanne DiBianca, impact manager at Salesforce, and Jamie Beck Alexander, director of Drawdown Labs and Project Drawdown.
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Thanks for reading – see you tomorrow!