With the help of AI, the organizers of WC 2022 are ready to manage a fan base equal to half the population of Qatar.
The 2022 World Cup is being held at eight stadiums in Qatar, from November 20 to December 18.
And according to media estimates, these football matches are expected to bring 1.5 million tourists to this small Middle Eastern country. But according to the latest statistics from the United Nations, the population of this country is only nearly 3 million people.
These numbers worry many people. If you are interested in football, you may recall the UEFA Champions League final that took place in the middle of this year, with the chaotic scene of a large number of Real Madrid and Liverpool fans outside the stadium. Or most recently, the tragic stampede in Itaewon, South Korea. And all this does not take into account the impact of football hooligan groups and the element of terrorism.
So in this one month, how can the host country Qatar ensure the safety of these 1.5 million tourists?
Don’t worry too much, because we have the technology to help with this problem.
According to Al Jazeera newspaper, Qatar has set up a technology center in the capital Doha to monitor fans in the stadium and manage the transportation system during the pre- and post-match period.
As the first Middle Eastern country to host the World Cup, Qatar is working hard to make this sporting event a huge success. And it will be impossible not to mention the contribution of AI systems, which will help Qatar’s managers find exactly “annoying” fans.
As AFP reports , cameras with facial recognition capabilities and also drone surveillance will be used to keep crowds safe during the World Cup.
Specifically, the Qatar organizers have deployed more than 22,000 cameras to monitor fan activity across the eight World Cup stadiums and on the streets of Doha.
More than 100 technicians will be working around the clock at the command and control center at the Aspire Zone Foundation, the report said. This place also known as Doha Sports City, is a 250 hectare sports complex located in the Baaya district of Doha, Qatar. Experts from cybersecurity to counter-terrorism and traffic management teams will be stationed at the center, along with officials from Qatar and FIFA.
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Through some leaked images, one can see long lines of security technicians sitting behind screens in a room that looks like NASA’s space mission control center. Their mission is to closely monitor the screens connected to security cameras and integrated devices spread throughout the eight World Cup stadiums.
“The safety and security of the fans is paramount. We want to make sure that the entire tournament goes on safely,” said Niyas Abdulrahiman, the venue’s chief technology officer.
At Lusail Stadium, which will host 10 matches including the final, facial recognition technology will allow security officers to zoom in on any of the 80,000 seats on the field. AI systems even support accurate judgment of the audience’s emotions through facial expressions, to “prevent possible bad behavior of fans in the bud”.
Not to mention the management and counter-terrorism, only with this AI technology, they can find a lost child in the sea of people, even identify those who are stealthily smoking.
When it comes to smoking in particular, doing it in public is “off-limits” to basic ethical standards in Qatar. Therefore, apart from FIFA certified staff and local organizers, anyone else smoking in the stadium will be severely fined.
However, information about the unit that develops facial recognition technology used in Qatar is not disclosed. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the facial recognition systems of Russian technology companies helped local authorities arrest more than 40 suspects. At the previous 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the security department at the stadium used a facial recognition system provided by the Japanese company NEC.
Using artificial intelligence technology, the control center in Doha can allow the organizers to remotely control all eight stadiums, at the same time.
From the screen, operators can adjust the temperature in the stadium to their liking, lock and unlock ticket gates, check the flow of people to the field and receive notifications about the exact number of people in the stadium. stadium at any time.
All of this is to avoid falling into awkward situations caused by crowds. In May, events broke out outside the Stade de France stadium in Paris so chaotic that police even used tear gas to suppress and disperse the crowd.
In October, in Indonesia, police fired tear gas at a football stadium to prevent fans from flooding the field. Even so, more than 130 people were killed in that incident.
To limit this situation, the technical team at the Qatar Center said that aggregating the data allows them to receive accurate predictions about the crowd.
Because they know exactly how many people are likely to enter the field based on ticket sales, the organizers can also predict spikes in viewership and traffic at any given time. With the help of artificial intelligence, the technology center can count the number of people in a space and set an alert threshold when the number spikes.
When there are more than 100 people in a specific area, technicians can receive alerts, check the operation of the entrance gates, open and close, and adjust the direction of movement to ensure the flow of people in and out of the stadium. Movement always goes smoothly.
In addition, researchers at Qatar University are said to have developed a drone surveillance system that can estimate the number of people on the street. Data and footage will be transmitted directly to the control center at Aspire to support security monitoring at gates and transportation systems such as trains, subways, and buses. Even matters related to maintenance and technical safety, such as signs and signage, at the stadium as well as on the street are strictly controlled.
In addition, all stadiums are air-conditioned. If there is a temperature change at the site, sensors in the command center can also collect data to make timely adjustments.
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