How NFL Can Implement Artificial Intelligence to Improve the Game

DEC 09, 2021

Take a look at how AI can impact the NFL and what changes will it bring to the table.

Nowadays, technology is advancing at a very fast pace which opens up new opportunities for sports to improve the game. The sports industry in North America alone is worth more than $80 billion, and with the use of technology, the sports industry can grow even more.

This means that the sports industry has both the impetus and the means to leverage all of the power of the evolving AI market just to make the game safer, more exciting, make marketing more targeted and impactful, and sports more appealing to the wider market.

In the past couple of years, we’ve seen many sports all around the world that started using artificial intelligence and data learning, and the NFL is no exception. Even though we still haven’t scratched the surface of AI’s potential, most professionals think that this is the right path for most sports including the NFL.

In today’s article we will take a look at how AI can impact the NFL and what changes will it bring to the table.

Coaching Assistance

Robotic coaches are not far away from reality, and soon most teams will rely on AI coaches to improve athletes’ skills.

For example, imagine an offensive line coach. He has 10 players in front of him, and he is analyzing the situation for arms strength to speed-from-standing focusing on one player at a time.

Now imagine the same situation with a robotic AI coach. He can analyze and watch all players simultaneously, and instantly crunch speed numbers of each arm rotation of every player who throws the ball.

Nowadays, data learning helps coaches make wiser decisions when it comes to improving each athlete’s skills, but in the future, this process will be autonomous.

Player Health and Safety

Back in the day, player health and safety weren’t the first priority for teams, but nowadays, the situation is much different. Teams are now focusing more on their abilities, strength, mental and physical health.

In fact, this was the league’s first attempt at using machine learning and AI to improve the health of athletes and prevent injuries. The partnership between NFL and AWS resulted in the creation of the “Digital Athlete”, which is a computer simulation model designed to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment, including outside environmental factors and variations by position.

All of this data will help teams improve treatment and rehabilitation of injuries in the short term, and possibly help predict and prevent injuries.

Wearable Tech

Wearable technology isn’t something new. However, they’ve grown more powerful which means they can collect more data during the game and in training sessions which helps coaches determine which segment should athletes focus on improving.

On top of that, wearable tech alongside AI can also help reduce the risk of injuries. One torn muscle or overextended knee caused by working too hard before warming up can mean loss of millions to the team, and possibly the championship title.

Another important wearable tech for the NFL is the helmets fitted with multiple nodes that detect impact to the skull during play. This will help manufacturers create better and safer helmets by analyzing the force that went to their heads during collisions.

Improved Decision Making With AI Referees

Referees have one of the toughest jobs in sports, and since they are only human, we can’t expect them to be right all of the time. However, with the use of technology, the days of bad calls may soon be at an end.

Nowadays, referees have the help of wearables, nano sensors, even artificial intelligence just to help reduce referee errors. AI technology can analyze movement through multiple cameras on the field and make an accurate in-game decision in seconds. This will not only make decisions more accurate but also improve the pace of the game, which is something that the fans would love.

Fan Interaction

Can you imagine fans having some kind of input in a game? It would be awesome to see how fans will interact with NFL games in the future since the AI possibilities are limitless.

Nowadays, most sports use the power of social media and share their opinion about the game like determining a fan’s favorite player of the day. AI can improve the accuracy of TwinSpires guide on NFL odds and make betting more and more a game of skill instead of luck.

However, thanks to AI and machine learning fans can interact with sports even more. For example, you can watch the game in a stadium and through digital devices, you can check out each player’s data and possibly share your thoughts about their performance. This will intensify the relationship between the NFL and fans and make the sport even more desirable for the wider audience.