NFL and AWS Launch Artificial Intelligence Challenge to Crowd Sources of Ways to Automate Player Identification Using NFL Game Material

New York, August 10, 2021 – The National Football League (NFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) today launched a new artificial intelligence challenge to create ways for computers to automatically identify players using NFL game images. The new computer vision models created through the challenge will accelerate the NFL’s work with AWS to better understand and reduce injuries in the NFL. Prizes totaling $ 100,000 will be awarded to data scientists with winning models. The contest will be open until November 2, 2021.

This challenge is the next step in the NFL’s work with AWS to develop the Digital Athlete, a virtual representation of an NFL player that can be used to predict and hopefully prevent player injuries. Last season, the NFL hosted its first computer vision competition, providing NFL game data to computer scientists and challenging them to create ways to detect helmet impacts on the ground. About 7,800 submissions were received from data scientists from around the world. These solutions are now being used by the NFL and AWS in ongoing work on the Digital Athlete.

This challenge is based on last season’s competition scoring teams based on the accuracy with which they identify the players involved in a helmet impact. The NFL will provide data scientists with the same set of game data to build on current models. This competition will advance an already robust AWS-based machine learning system that is working to be one of the most advanced and sophisticated injury monitoring and mitigation programs in professional sports.

“This competition is key to helping identify each player’s risk in the face of injury-causing events, especially when it comes to head health,” he said. Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president who oversees the league’s health and safety programs. “We are excited to hire some of the most talented data scientists from around the world to help develop these solutions and make significant progress in player security.”

“Using the wide range of AWS technologies, including machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), the NFL and AWS will generate more new knowledge than ever before about player injuries. play, equipment, rehabilitation and recovery, ”he said. Priya Ponnapalli, Senior Manager, Applied Science, Amazon ML Solutions Lab. “This competition will continue to do this work and the data and ideas gathered through this project have the potential to shape the future of football.”

The digital athlete will ultimately help the NFL and its clubs leverage sports science and injury biomechanics to develop individualized training and recovery regimes, conduct real-time injury risk analysis during games and identify and evaluate additional player safety initiatives, including equipment, rule changes, and coaching techniques.

To enter the competition, visit for more information on the rules and requirements.

About the safety and health initiatives of NFL players

The NFL is committed to advancing the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of sports-related injuries. The league’s focus on player health and safety is based on data collection and analysis to help guide their ongoing efforts to understand and reduce injuries and protect players. Data and science are the foundation of the NFL’s efforts to further improve medical protocols, improve the way we teach and play our game, and stimulate the development of new and improved protective equipment, including helmets. For more information on NFL safety and health efforts, visit

About Amazon Web Services

For over 15 years, Amazon Web Services has been the most comprehensive and widely adopted cloud offering in the world. AWS has been continuously expanding its services to support virtually any workload in the cloud and now has more than 200 full-featured services for computing, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence ( AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media development, deployment and application management from 81 availability zones within 25 geographic regions , with announced plans for 21 more availability zones and seven more AWS regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Israel, Spain, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. Millions of customers, including the fastest growing emerging companies, larger companies and major government agencies, rely on AWS to power their infrastructure, be more agile and reduce costs. For more information about AWS, visit

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