JSS supporters additionally hope AI in gymnastics could have the ability to remove the inevitable biases that people deliver to the judging sales space. Because it at present stands, judging shouldn’t be significantly clear; coaches and gymnasts agree it’s troublesome to inform what goes on behind the scenes in scoring or inquiries.
That is additional difficult by the truth that elements like nationality and physique kind can add a aware or unconscious bias that influences scores. On the 2023 World Championships, for example, gymnast Kaia Tanskanen knew that as a member of the Finnish staff, she was at a drawback—what followers name a “leotard bias.” Whereas judges could deny it, followers generally understand “built-in deductions” for international locations that don’t have essentially the most aggressive and elite packages—international locations, in different phrases, that aren’t the US or Russia.
That’s one motive Kaia (whose coach is Kim Tanskanen, her mom) is hopeful about how JSS might change competitors: “I really feel just like the scoring could be extra even,” she says.
“Particularly the smaller international locations that compete internationally—I feel the judges simply have this assumption of what’s going to occur earlier than they even begin the routine, they usually form of decide primarily based off that,” says Emma Spence, an elite Canadian gymnast who competed on the 2022 World Championships. “If we will remove that, I feel it can make it a bit of extra of a good probability for everyone.”
Whereas Butcher insists that judges “hopefully are leaving their biases behind them,” he too believes the JSS might assist remove these elements and do extra to create a fair taking part in subject.
But an absence of transparency round how and when JSS is utilized in competitors could undermine this supreme. Rating sheets at FIG occasions don’t at present embody inquiries, so there aren’t any recorded particulars about how routines have been reviewed in competitors, together with whether or not JSS was used. Rating sheets don’t embody itemized deductions, both. As a way to decide when JSS was used on the 2023 World Championships, I needed to contact particular person judges who’re excessive up within the FIG; even they couldn’t inform me precisely what number of occasions the JSS was used. This data merely isn’t recorded.
I used to be solely capable of affirm it was used within the case of Srbić after connecting with the lads’s technical president; Srbić stated by way of electronic mail that even he didn’t know if JSS was used to resolve his inquiry.
Butcher advised me that following the 2023 World Championships, athletes ought to have been despatched a hyperlink to a web site to see how their routines have been judged by JSS, to assist them make enhancements. However once I contacted Kaia and Kim Tanskanen after the competitors, they stated she hadn’t obtained any details about AI judging both throughout or after the competitors. (Butcher says that is possible a communication subject with the Finnish federation, although Satu Murtonen, the technical director of Finland’s Ladies’s Creative Gymnastics, tells me, “Sadly, I don’t keep in mind receiving any details about the robotic judging.”)