Deepmind Collaborate With Liverpool FC To Optimize Corners

deepmind collaborate liverpool fc to optimize corners

DeepMind and Liverpool FC built TacticAI, an AI tool meant to change the game plan for soccer, focusing first on corner kicks.

Think back to the amazing quick corner in the 2019 UEFA Champions League semi-finals that brought Origi’s epic goal.

If you follow Liverpool or Barcelona, you know the play we mean – and TacticAI wants to make those moments happen more often, mixing smart human thinking with AI’s help.

TacticAI, shown in a report in Nature Communications, uses advanced learning to guess what might happen at corners and study game strategies.

A bird’s eye overview of Tacticai
A bird’s eye overview of TacticAI. Source: Nature

TacticAI grew from an initial idea called Game Plan in 2020, aiming to use AI to dig into soccer tactics and analysis, leading to smart models that could guess where off-screen players would move.

The team looked at 7,176 corners from the Premier League’s 2020 to 2021 seasons. They turned each corner into a graph with players as points showing their spots, moves, and physical traits when the corner happened.

Then, they used a type of advanced learning called geometric deep learning with graph networks to look into how players interact and plan during corners.

TacticAI ended up being the top pick for expert reviewers 90% of the time over old methods, able to name who would receive the ball and who might take the shot.

TacticAI does three main things:

  1. It guesses what might happen after a corner kick, like who might get the ball and the chances of a shot.
  2. It looks at how well past strategies worked in similar situations to give feedback on what was successful or not.
  3. It suggests changes in the game plan, such as moving defenders around to reduce the other team’s chances of getting a shot.

TacticAI was tested in three key areas:

  • For predicting shots from corners, TacticAI scored a 0.71 F1 score. An F1 score near 1 means it’s very accurate, so 0.71 is really good.
  • In figuring out who’ll likely get the ball first after a corner, TacticAI had a top-3 accuracy of 0.782.
  • When recommending strategy tweaks, like where players should stand or move, experts generally liked TacticAI’s advice the best.
Example refining a corner kick tactic with TacticAI
Example of refining a corner kick tactic with TacticAI. Source: Narure

Corners used to be the wild cards of sports plays, but that might be changing.

Thanks to TacticAI, we could see more thrilling last-minute victories. And Liverpool FC is ready to make the most of this edge. This could even help make up for losing Klopp.

Elmer Alasteir

Elmer Alasteir

Elmer Alasteir is an AI Expert and Consultant at Quarule. He has over 10 years of hands-on experience in developing AI solutions for businesses.