Decorated Chinese skier Xu Mengtao claimed the women’s aerials freestyle skiing gold medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Monday night. A key factor behind her success was “Guanjun” (观君 Guānjūn), the artificial intelligence referee and coaching system developed by Xiaoice.
Prior to Xu’s recent Olympic victory, Xiaoice’s confidential project, called the International Athletic Scoring System (X-IASS), has been silently serving the country’s freestyle aerials team for more than three years. According to the company, the core task of the project is to create a virtual coach named Guanjun to improve the training efficiency.
Relying on Xiaoice’s computer vision and framework technologies, Guanjun pioneered the “Xiaoice CV Analysis Model for Winter Sports,” providing coaches and athletes with real-time and professional evaluation and guidance.
Because of the danger of aerial ski jumping, athletes’ daily training is limited. In order to improve efficiency, it is necessary to strengthen athletes’ memory of high-scoring movements. For every jump by athletes, Guanjun will make professional judgments and keep a high degree of consistency with the scoring standards of international referees. The AI referee strictly identifies causes for deduction, quantifies the athletes’ movements and supports the analysis of multi-dimensional indicators including movement tracking, body posture, angle and height, which in turn provides guidance for coaches.
In addition, based on the long-term observation of data, the system has also established an exclusive sports file for each player. This can be used to trace the action details of each jump, compile and present the long-term training effects, and assist in making scientific training plans.
Moreover, Xiaoice endowed Guanjun with professional AI competitive sports visual analysis abilities, as well as personality features including appearance, voice and a unique character. With Xiaoice Neural Rendering technology, Guanjun now has human characteristics.
According to public information, Xiaoice was formerly known as the Artificial Intelligence Xiaoice Team of Microsoft (Asia) Internet Engineering Institute. The team was established in China in December 2013. Its technical products cover China, Japan, Indonesia and other countries. In July 2020, the team was split off from Microsoft and has since operated as an independent company.