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Leaderboard FD July August September 2023

Snipe Worlds: AI instead of IJ

by Pietro Fantoni 1 Apr 00:50 PDT 1 April 2024
A sad day for IJs © Martina Orsini / SSL Gold Cup

The Snipe Class has always been used by World Sailing to test new ideas, though not all of their experiments work out (see RRS 18 - Mark Rounding). For 2024, they've asked the class to replace their International Jury with a specially created computer that will drastically improve the time it takes to render decisions.

At the Worlds in Buenos Aires, all parties to a protest will explain their version of what happened on the water to the computer, which will monitor heart rates and use vocal analysis to separate truth from fiction. Once all parties and witnesses have submitted their statements, the machine will issue its decision. The disqualified party will be led away in handcuffs and shackled to the signal mast at the club overnight.

For Rule 42, each boat will be equipped with an onboard camera to transmit images in real time to the machine. An algorithm will then compare body movements to old footage of Robert Scheidt's downwind technique; anything less graceful will be automatically considered an infringement. Sailors will be notified via a speaker on the infringing Snipe, which will emit a long whistle. The penalty will be a capsize, and it must be completed immediately.

After the Worlds, the machine will self-analyze its decisions and report back to the International Judges Subcommittee's "AI Working Group." No appeals allowed.

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