Wimbledon's high-tech umpire is flawed, academics say


Wimbledon's high-tech umpire is flawed, academics say

Karl Flinders

The technology used to make decisions on whether a ball is in or out at Wimbledon is being challenged by Cardiff University academics.

With the Wimbledon tennis tournament just weeks away, a team of academics led by Harry Collins and Robert Evans have carried out research that questions whether aids such as the Hawk-Eye system can actually always be right.

The researchers claim devices could cause viewers to overestimate the ability of any technological devices to resolve disagreement among humans.

The paper, entiled You cannot be serious! Public understanding of technology with special reference to Hawk-Eye, also suggests that a more detailed understanding of how the device works could play a vital role in public education.

"Technologies such as Hawk-Eye are meant to relegate line-call controversies to the past, however, our analysis has shown that Hawk-Eye does not always get it right and should not be relied on as the definitive decision-maker," said Collins.

Neither do humans, according to John McEnroe, one of the greats of world tennis who was feared by unpires all over the world for his on-court tantrums.

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