Artificial Intelligence – you have heard about it, your friends are talking about it, your dad knows about it…hell, even your neighbour’s cat has an opinion about it! One of the hottest topics of the year, AI is not the future of technology. Nope, it’s already there! While AI is already creating a revolution across industries, let’s have a look at how it may affect the fitness industry, especially the Indian fitness industry.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
If you associate the word Artificial Intelligence with any if these words:‘Skynet’, ‘Judgement Day’ or ‘Terminator’, the good news is we’re not there yet. For now, BBC defines Artificial Intelligence as “a computer mind that can think like a human” and we are more than happy to go with this definition.
Impact of Artificial Intelligence in Fitness
Imagine going on a morning jog with your own personal assistant constantly motivating you, checking your vitals and even selecting and playing your favourite tracks. This has already been brought to life by LifeBEAM’s Vi. Closer home, some of the fitness startups in India have recently launched AI enabled apps which can track and advise you on your nutrition and fitness. But does this mean that AI can immediately bring a revolution to the Fitness Industry, especially the Indian fitness industry? Let’s have a look.
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Pros of AI in Fitness
There’s no doubt that Artificial Intelligence is capable of revolutionising the way we look at fitness in near future. Some of the pros of AI in the context of fitness include:
1. Accurate Measurement of Biometric Data: Accurate biometric data can help the AI understand your strengths and weaknesses. More importantly with the help of advanced biometric, the AI can actually guide you towards your fitness goal as we shall explore in the next point.
2. Personalised Plans: While the fact that no two bodies are the same is an oft-repeated phrase in the fitness industry, the ground reality is that personalisation is still a far-fetched dream. This maybe all set to change thanks to the advent of AI. Your AI coach can collect and process terabytes of your behavioural pattern and biometric data to come up with the perfect diet and workout plan for you.
3. A Portable Coach: Perhaps the biggest drawback for human coaches is that they cannot be present everywhere, every time. An AI coach is the answer to situations like that. On a holiday? No issues, your portable AI coach is right there with you, motivating and guiding you through the day.
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The Other Side
Can’t wait to get your hand on this wonder weapon in your struggle for the six-pack? Hold on! While AI may indeed revolutionize fitness as we know it, there are a few downsides too, especially when it comes to the Indian fitness industry.
1. Lack of Education: One of the biggest banes of Indian fitness industry as well as Indians is the lack of awareness as far as fitness is concerned. Rife with myths, blind faith and speculations, an alarming number of Indians also lack the discipline to stay fit as our study here reveals. In these circumstances, it is unlikely that the introduction of AI alone will drastically change the situation.
2. Lack of A Human Touch: All fancy terms and terminologies aside, sometimes you just need the human touch. In fact, when you are demotivated, the last thing you want to hear is the over-enthusiastic voice of the AI coach. While perhaps in the future, when the machines can emote, this will be a different story but as of now machine lack the crucial human touch.
3. Data Privacy: This concerns a wider audience than the fitness industry alone. Data, especially your personal data is at the heart of everything that the AI does. Every second of every minute, the AI is collecting, synthesizing and analysing your private data. It is, therefore, only natural to be concerned about the breach and misuse of this data, especially in the light of the many recent incidents across the globe.
AI in Indian Fitness Industry
So is the Indian fitness industry ready to be a part of the AI revolution? Well, while there is no doubt that AI is here to stay, we feel that the Indian fitness industry may still have to wait for sometime before being able to completely leverage the true potential of Artificial Intelligence. In the end, we will just quote the founder and CEO of Gympik, Amaresh Ojha, someone who has deep knowledge of fitness as well as fitness industry: “The challenge continues to be around how the app will know a person’s fitness commitment”.
So what’s your take on the issue? Leave a comment below.