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HK center to use AI to identify sporting talent

By ATLAS SHAO in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-21 09:09

The Chinese University of Hong Kong established an innovation center on Tuesday that will use artificial intelligence technology to help the city pick those with the potential to be elite athletes in various sports and monitor their recovery from sports injuries.

The Global Sports and Wellness Innovation Centre will apply AI-based automatic retinal image analysis in the sports arena.

The technology, developed by the university in 2015, can provide insights into abilities related to cognition, concentration, physical strength, speed, agility, reaction time, balance and coordination.

The indicators can be factored into predictions of an athlete's performance in various sports and during competitions, and can also be used to assess minor injuries from concussions during contact sports.

The center also plans to use AI technology to monitor athletes' recovery from sports injuries, with a view of early intervention and the formulation of recovery plans.

The center was established with cooperation from enterprises and academic institutions in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

The enterprises are AquaBloom International Sports Technology Group, Innovax Holding Ltd, responsible for sourcing capital and resources for the center's projects, and Funeng Intelligent Manufacturing (Beijing) Technology Service Co Ltd, which is responsible for producing a one-stop manufacturing service — including the production of equipment for taking retinal images.

Carlos Law, Funeng's deputy general manager, said mass production of the equipment could be realized this year with sufficient funding.

Benny Zee Chung-ying, director of the Centre for Clinical Research and Biostatistics at the university's Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, said: "The innovation center, an embodiment of industry-university research collaboration, will help Hong Kong's sports sector to identify elite athletes and bring out their potential while promoting the development of sports-related technology."

Zee said he hopes the center will also help promote the economy and academic development in Hong Kong.

The development of sports will create jobs and business opportunities and also benefit public health, he said.

Zee said the technology is mature and can identify risks of stroke and depression, so widespread application could benefit the whole world.

Sports technology will be the start, he said, with other sectors such as traditional Chinese medicine to be explored in the future.

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