Bach considers AI as a positive revolution in sport. GETTY IMAGES

IOC President Thomas Bach unveiled the Olympic AI Agenda in London on Friday, expressing the belief that artificial intelligence has the potential to unearth talented athletes from all corners of the globe.

At Olympic Park, the venue of the 2012 Games, Bach emphasised the necessity for the Olympic Movement to take the lead in driving change amidst the accelerating global AI revolution. "Today we are making another step to ensure the uniqueness of the Olympic Games and the relevance of sport, and to do this, we have to be leaders of change, and not the object of change," said the International Olympic Committee President.

When questioned about the potential drawbacks of AI, Bach stressed the significance of preserving athletes' freedom of choice within the realm of sports. "He or she, or the parents, must still have free choice. So a guy who is then maybe identified as a great athlete in wrestling must still have the chance to play tennis and cannot be sorted out from these sports," the IOC President said.

Bach, who wants Paris 2024 to unite the world in peace, underscored the critical necessity of implementing a "holistic" perspective in crafting an "overall strategy for AI and sport."

"In sport, the performances will always have to be delivered by the athletes. The 100 metres will always have to be run by an athlete -– a human being. Therefore, we can concentrate on the potential of AI to support the athletes.

"AI can help to identify athletes and talent in every corner of the world. AI can provide more athletes with access to personalised training methods, superior sports equipment and more individualised programmes to stay fit and healthy," concluded Bach.

Alain Zobrist, CEO of Swiss Timing, explained how AI could work for support athletes to a better performance, "One (innovation for Paris 2024) I can share with you is a specially example in diving that can be translated in many other sports. We can really have very detailed information of the entire performance. The time it takes to measure the performance, to process it and to show it on TV is less than a 10th of a second."

At the London event, former Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn shared her sentiment of admiration towards present-day athletes, expressing a sense of longing for the opportunities they have to utilise artificial intelligence in refining their training routines.

"I'm very jealous that I didn't have any of this technology when I was racing because I just really feel that it's going to enhance the athlete's experience all around. Athletes can utilise AI in training to enhance their knowledge from training like, for example, skiing on the mountain but then also off the mountain in the gym recovery times."

The 39-year-old also commented on the opportunity to discover new talents with AI, "You can give them access to AI through a cell phone and you do a series of tests and they can identify 'OK this athlete would be a great, a 40-metre dash sprinter, or this athlete would potentially be an amazing high jumper.'

"You have the ability then to find the talent and give them resources through things they already have like a cell phone," concluded Vonn.