“Hey, is that a strike?”
“Don’t you judge your cheek correctly?”
These are common words when watching baseball at the stadium. But it is no longer expected to be heard.
In baseball games, balls, strikes, outs, and safe decisions are the referee’s inherent discretion. Since it is a job done by humans, there are many mistakes, and this case is called ‘misim’. However, if AI judgment is introduced, misjudgment can disappear.
When will AI be introduced. KBO is working on related work with the aim of introducing an AI system for strike and ball decisions from 2024. In the Futures League (second division) league, AI referees are already being tested.
The introduction of AI referees can facilitate the progress of the game. It is common to see a pitcher or batter arguing with a referee over a referee’s ball and strike decision, which can now be a memory. A typical example is SSG Landers Choo Shin-soo, who played only in the U.S. Major League and often looked ridiculous as he struggled to adapt to the new strike zone after entering the KBO League.
The joy and sorrow of both teams and fans are mixed with each judgment of the judges. The game becomes boring due to absurd decisions, and if this situation is repeated, fans may not visit the ballpark. Some teams have become more advantageous if they are misjudged, while others continue to play in situations where they are unfairly disadvantaged. Misjudgment was also part of the game, but it is expected that the introduction of AI referees will facilitate the progress of the game through accurate judgment.