And this is where sports technology begins to illuminate larger issues around human and technological agency.
Like sport itself, these debates are endless. No technology will ever be infallible, but it may certainly be more accurate than human referees, umpires, commentators and armchair critics. What’s really interesting about having this debate at the TMS level is that it’s fundamentally and visibly embedded in a larger system: that of the game and history of cricket, a rule-based structure which leaves plenty of wiggle room for human fallibility, and human passions. This means the debate is not about the technology itself, but about its wider implications for the system it’s embedded in. The graphics are pretty but we care about the outcome a lot more.
But when such debates happen in wider society – another rule-based structure with a degree of wiggle room – this isn’t always the case. The same arguments around human and technological agency are occurring all around us, but we don’t seem to be debating them in the same way.
There’s an idea for an interesting game—a physical game with a digital arbiter, where players get to adjust the level of technological interference. This could possibly be a very educational experience about technology and human agency.