By Wisdom Deji-Folutile
We asked AI to tell us who should win the Ballon d’Or this season, and the answer we got was intriguing, to say the least.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically in the form of Large Language Models (LLMs), is all the rave now. And they are getting really good.
In fact, LLMs like ChatGPT and Bard are so advanced now that professionals and enthusiasts alike use them as inspiration to accomplish their day-to-day tasks.
Specifically, a key strength of LLM Chatbots is conversational discourse and articulate responses. They have been said to very accurately mimic human language cognition and representation, and as a result of being trained on mountains of data, they know a lot about almost everything.
AI like Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s GPT 4 are also internet-enabled, meaning they can take into consideration more current information to give a response. This is supposed to make them a lot more accurate.
Because of this, AF24NEWS’ sports news desk decided to test out Google AI’s ball knowledge by asking it “Who should win the Ballon d’Or in 2023?”.
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Prompt: Who should win the 2023 Ballon d’Or? I want to hear your top 10 rankings and your reasons and criteria for choosing them
Google AI (Bard) responds:
Here is my top 10 ranking for the 2023 Ballon d’Or, along with my reasons and criteria for choosing them:
- Lionel Messi (Argentina, Paris Saint-Germain)
Messi won the 2022 FIFA World Cup with Argentina, scoring 7 goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick in the final against France. He also won the Copa América with Argentina in 2021. Messi has been in excellent form for PSG this season, scoring 25 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions.
- Erling Haaland (Norway, Manchester City)
Haaland has been in incredible form since joining Manchester City in January, scoring 21 goals in 19 appearances in all competitions. He is the Premier League’s top scorer this season, with 12 goals in 10 appearances. Haaland is also a key player for Norway, scoring 15 goals in 19 appearances.
- Kylian Mbappé (France, Paris Saint-Germain)
Mbappé was one of the stars of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring 4 goals in the tournament, including a hat-trick in the round of 16 against Argentina. He is also a key player for Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 25 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions this season.
- Karim Benzema (France, Real Madrid)
Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or after scoring 44 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid. He also helped Real Madrid win the Champions League and La Liga titles. Benzema is still in excellent form this season, scoring 27 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions.
- Vinicius Junior (Brazil, Real Madrid)
Vinicius Junior has been one of the best players in the world this season, scoring 17 goals and providing 10 assists in 33 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid. He was instrumental in Real Madrid’s Champions League victory, scoring 4 goals in the tournament, including a goal in the final against Liverpool.
- Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium, Manchester City)
De Bruyne has been one of the best midfielders in the world for several years now. He is a key player for Manchester City, scoring 15 goals and providing 13 assists in 29 appearances in all competitions this season. De Bruyne is also a key player for Belgium, scoring 30 goals in 66 appearances.
- Mohamed Salah (Egypt, Liverpool)
Salah has been in excellent form for Liverpool this season, scoring 22 goals and providing 13 assists in 30 appearances in all competitions. He is a key player for Liverpool, who are still in contention for the Premier League and Champions League titles. Salah is also a key player for Egypt, scoring 45 goals in 71 appearances.
- Robert Lewandowski (Poland, Bayern Munich)
Lewandowski has been one of the best strikers in the world for several years now. He is a key player for Bayern Munich, scoring 48 goals in 40 appearances in all competitions this season. Lewandowski is also a key player for Poland, scoring 76 goals in 129 appearances.
- Sadio Mane (Senegal, Bayern Munich)
Mane has been in excellent form for Liverpool and Senegal this season. He won the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal in 2022, scoring the winning goal in the final against Egypt. Mane is also a key player for Liverpool, who are still in contention for the Premier League and Champions League titles.
- Neymar (Brazil, Paris Saint-Germain)
Neymar has been in excellent form for Paris Saint-Germain this season, scoring 13 goals and providing 8 assists in 20 appearances in all competitions. He is a key player for Paris Saint-Germain, who are still in contention for the Champions League title. Neymar is also a key player for Brazil, scoring 74 goals in 119 appearances.
These are just my top 10 rankings, and there are many other players who could be considered for the Ballon d’Or. The award is ultimately decided by a vote of journalists, and it will be interesting to see who they choose as the winner in 2023.
As you can see, Google’s Bard did a good job providing an intelligible response to our prompt. However, one can quickly see that Bard struggles with using up-to-date considerations when drawing up its Ballon d’Or rankings. For instance, Robert Lewandowski is no longer a Bayern Munich player and has since 2022 taken his talents to Spain, where he represents Barcelona FC in the Spanish top-flight league.
Also, any avid football follower would quickly notice that Bard is also guilty of “hallucinations”, a term used to denote AI filling in knowledge gaps with false information. For instance, Mohammed Salah’s Liverpool are not in contention for either the Premier League or UEFA Champions League. Also, while Lionel Messi did score 7 goals in the most recent instalment of the FIFA World Cup, he did not score a hattrick in the final vs France. And these are but a few examples compared to the dozens of other obvious blunders Bard made about player stats, teams, and the generally inaccurate reflections on their individual performances in relation to present contexts.
In all, AI is a wonderful and intriguing concept that has the potential to revolutionise human activity. But for now, it can’t quite be trusted with figuring out who should get the Ballon d’Or!