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Football & Artificial Intelligence

September 22, 2011

Computer scientists used football footage to develop a sophisticated kind of artificial intelligence.



Artificial intelligence on the football field…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Football season is upon us, and coaches all across the country are racking their brains to figure out how to win the next game.  They often review game footage to refine their strategy. Now, a computer can do that too. Oregon State University computer scientist Alan Fern and his colleagues want to make artificial intelligence that can analyze complex visual scenes.  So they programmed a computer to track football passing plays, learn from them, and create new ones.

ALAN FERN (Oregon State University):

This computer was able to design much better plays, after having watched all of this previous video, than plays it could design without watching any of that video.


Fern says the current program still couldn’t outwit a serious fan, much less a Vince Lombardi.  But he says it may eventually analyze the movements of all kinds of groups, from shoppers in a store to soldiers on the battlefield.  I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.