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Magic become first NBA team to use AI in player tracking

Steve Clifford

The marriage between professional sports and the advances in technology has become even more intimate in the past couple of years. Recently, the Orlando Magic brought this to a whole new level by publicly announcing their intentions to use Artificial Intelligence in tracking statistics.

Per RealGM:

The Orlando Magic announced an exclusive deal as the only NBA team with access to AutoSTATS, a revolutionary new artificial intelligence (AI) technology from STATS.

The Magic will use tracking data produced by AutoSTATS to analyze collegiate players and improve evaluation and decisions for the NBA draft. AutoSTATS delivers comprehensive player-tracking data directly from video through patented AI and computer vision technology. The new technology gives the Magic exclusive access to the college tracking data currently unavailable at this scale due to the scarce use of in-venue tracking systems.

This is the Magic embracing technology and taking full advantage of the advances in modern AI to further improve their scouting system. It does not appear to go against any league rules, so if this turns out to be a success — one thing that will not be determined until at least a few years from now — it would not be surprising if other teams quickly follow suit.

CBS Sports recently projected Orlando as having the opportunity to pick 11th overall in the upcoming draft, so surely, this new piece of technology will come in handy for the organization come June, whether they make the playoffs or not.