Showing posts from July, 2019

It’s Time for Baseball’s Robot Umpire To Call All the Balls and Strikes

Yes, robots are taking over more and more jobs these days, and we—the luddites—mightily protest in vain.  But there are some tasks, important to us, where robots will do things much better than humans ever can, and for such tasks we should welcome the efficiency these mechanical helpers bring. Using AI to replace the job of baseball’s home plate umpire to call pitches as balls or strikes is an obvious example. I am a major baseball fan, watching close to a hundred games a year (almost all of them being my beloved Cubbies—see Related Posts below).   In recent years most televised games show us a graphic of the strike zone and whether, according to the computer, the pitched ball actually touched it or not.   The real life umpire cannot see this graphic and continues to call balls and strikes in the old fashioned way: giving his best estimate of whether the ball was actually in the strike zone.   Professional umpires are trained well and they are pretty g