Experts estimate that around 7 million students play high school sports, with millions of fans attending each game. And over the last few years, more fans have been watching school sporting events via live stream. As more schools embrace streaming their events, it’s crucial that the broadcast is top-notch, otherwise, fans will be disappointed.
As school leaders consider the best way to stream their events, many are now looking at AI cameras which have become more popular over the last year. AI cameras promise a lot and are a good choice in some situations. But be wary—they aren’t perfect and there are some downsides.
If you are considering AI cameras for your school, be sure to read the rest of this article. We want you to be informed about the pros and cons of AI cameras so you make the best decision for your school.
What are the Pros of AI Cameras for Schools?
We’ll start with the ways an AI camera can help your school.
1. AI Cameras Can Cut Out the Guesswork
High school sports are filled with heart-pounding suspense and close calls. Filming every bit of the action takes a well-trained team. An AI camera can be that team’s most valuable tool, helping them cover every last bit of a game.
With an AI camera, film teams can focus on capturing moments and getting up close to the field. They don’t need to man the camera from a skybox, making sure online viewers see every moment. Artificial intelligence can handle that.
Instead, the film teams can record intense moments from unique and innovative angles. These recordings can then be used to edit together a video about the game. With an artificial intelligence camera, film crews can think about the bigger picture and produce more content from a single game.
2. AI Cameras Reduce Your Need for Staffing
Running a film crew at your school takes time, training, and energy. For some schools that are limited by the number of students interested in broadcasting, AI cameras can help fill the gap.
Using AI cameras can give schools the ability to broadcast events that they might be able to otherwise due to a lack of people to run the cameras.
3. AI Cameras Increase Broadcast Consistency
Most school leaders we know are interested in building their audience, including the parents of current students, alumni, and the community at large. By using AI cameras, schools can increase the number of broadcasts and stream more consistently simply because they aren’t dependent on finding people to run the cameras.
4. AI Cameras Don’t Have to Be Trained
Broadcasting can provide students with a great opportunity to learn a skill that also requires consistent teaching and training. For schools that lack the needed student training resources, AI cameras can help fill the gap. There’s still a need for someone on the ground with broadcasting knowledge, but AI cameras can help bridge the training gap.
What are the Cons of AI Cameras for Schools?
Some folks like to present AI cameras with a pie-in-the-sky type perspective and will try to convince you that they can solve all of your broadcasting problems. Well, we all know that’s not true as there are pros and cons to everything. Let’s dive into some of the disadvantages of AI cameras.
1. AI Cameras Can Make Mistakes
Technology is great, but it can make mistakes. Imagine an intense basketball game, both teams are racing back and forth down the court. Sometimes the direction changes in the blink of an eye. AI can generally keep up, but sometimes it can lose track of what is most important. In one instance, an AI camera was tracking the bald referee instead of the soccer ball, leading to a lot of upset fans.
2. AI Cameras Can Fail
We’ve all had a moment when we turn on our computer and nothing happens. All we see is a blank screen. Maybe it was a virus or something in the computer hardware that stopped working. Whatever the cause, technology fails at some point. If your school is dependent on the AI camera(s) for your broadcast, you’re always at risk of something going awry. And if you don’t have humans who can run cameras, your broadcast may be completely grounded.
3. AI Can’t Replace Human Decision-Making
AI offers a number of benefits. It cannot, however, replicate human decision-making. There are moments in a game or event that a human will know is important and need to be focused on, perhaps something happening away from the ball (which the AI is focused on). The person operating the camera can point the camera to capture the action whereas AI cameras can miss these game-defining moments without a person to intervene.
4. AI Doesn’t Teach the Students
One of our favorite things about working with schools is seeing students get involved with broadcasting. A number of our schools have built broadcasting programs that involve the students from running the cameras to reporting on events on the daily school news show. The point is this, there’s an opportunity to involve students and give them real-world experiences that will shape their future. Replacing students with AI can take those opportunities away.
Are AI cameras the right option for your school?
We love technology. It enables us to do things more efficiently and oftentimes with better results. But it’s not the end all be all. We have been helping schools live stream for over a decade, so we understand all the challenges you’re facing. In our opinion, AI cameras have their place in broadcasting and live streaming. The danger comes when schools rely on AI cameras too much. The best programs school broadcasting programs include a mix of the latest technology and humans. This ensures that fans get the best broadcast possible and it provides students with opportunities to learn and develop new skills.
Do you agree or disagree? Drop us a line and let us know.