The study by the British television platform Freeview explored emotional reactions to different sports by analyzing the expressions of viewers .
The 150 participants were sent content from 10 sports consisting of 30,750 frames, which were standardized to capture the same format of low, medium and high intensity clips .
The responses were measured with software developed by the startup RealEyes, which analyzed the reactions captured by the cameras on the spectators’ devices . According to the analysis, tennis is the most euphoric sport to watch at home, followed by gymnastics, soccer and cricket.
Formula 1, meanwhile, was considered to evoke the greatest shock, which was identified by movements such as eyes suddenly wide open and jaw dropping. But F1 was also ranked the most confusing sport, based on factors like narrowing of the eyelids and frowning .
The more routine Olympic sports, such as equestrian and synchronized swimming, were considered the most tense, as they maintained the highest quality of spectator attention.
Still, a few observations can be made. The first: Emotion Recognition Technology (ERT) is an extremely controversial area of AI. Scientists have argued that the systems are not only inaccurate and skewed, they are similar to phrenology . And second: the Freeview study, moreover, only analyzed the responses of British viewers, whose tastes will somehow reflect the sports culture of their country.