NFL-AWS partnership hopes to cut back head accidents with machine studying

As we speak at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell joined AWS CEO Andy Jassy onstage to announce a brand new partnership to make use of machine studying to assist scale back head accidents in skilled soccer.

“We’re excited to announce a new strategic partnership together, which is going to combine cloud computing, machine learning and data science to work on transforming player health and safety,” Jassy mentioned right now.

NFL soccer is a quick and violent sport involving giant males. Accidents are part of the sport, however the NFL is hoping to cut back head accidents particularly, an enormous drawback for the game. A 2017 research discovered that 110 out of 111 deceased NFL gamers had power traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The NFL has a head begin in machine studying because of the sheer quantity of knowledge it collects on its gamers. The game additionally has a long time of video. Which means they need to be capable to create significant simulations that may assist enhance helmet design and in addition result in rule adjustments that would scale back the concussion threat that’s endemic within the sport.

Goodell acknowledges that the game has all this knowledge, however lacks the experience to place it to work. That’s the place the partnership is available in. “I think what’s most exciting to me is that there are very few relationships that we get involved with where the partner and the NFL can change the game,” he mentioned.

Jeff Miller, govt VP for Well being and security innovation for the NFL, says this partnership is a part of a broader initiative the NFL has taken over the previous few years to search out methods to cut back head accidents within the recreation. “About three and a half years ago the NFL started a project called ‘The Engineering Roadmap’, which was a multibillion-dollar effort supported by our owners to better understand the impact of concussions on the field, then design ways to mitigate those injuries and move the helmet industry forward,” Miller mentioned right now.

Jeff Crandall, chairman of the NFL engineering committee, says this entails three predominant items. The primary is knowing what occurs on the sphere, significantly who’s getting injured and why. Secondly, it entails taking that knowledge and sharing it with the helmet business to assist them construct higher helmets. The ultimate piece is incentivizing the helmet business to construct higher helmets, and to that finish the league established the $three million helmet problem.

The best way AWS helps is after all placing all this knowledge to work with its machine studying toolset. AWS’s VP of synthetic intelligence, Matt Wooden, says that having all this knowledge is a big benefit and permits them to place it to work in an information lake, after which use the AWS SageMaker toolset to assist make sense of it and produce safer outcomes.

The hope is to assist perceive, not solely how head accidents happen, and to stop them to the extent potential in a violent sport, but in addition design higher tools and rule adjustments to cut back the variety of accidents general. Placing knowledge to work and mixing it with machine studying instruments may assist.

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