Developing an AI football coach on Amazon’s Alexa

Overview

The Big Bang Fair wanted to bring AI to a new audience and use it encourage young people. They engaged GreenShoot Labs to help them showcase how artificial intelligence can be used in the country’s most popular sport.

The challenge:

Demonstrating the power of AI for a youth audience

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for young people in the UK. Looking for a way to demonstrate the power of artificial intelligence to a younger audience, they asked GreenShoot Labs to come up with a showcase piece of engineering. Realising that lower-league football clubs don’t have the money or strategy resources of their premier-league counterparts, GreenShoot Labs provided English football with the first ever, free, artificial intelligence football coach.

The solution:

Coupling natural language processing with model-based artificial intelligence

GreenShoot Labs developed an AI football coach powered by Amazon’s Alexa that can provide human managers with bespoke pre-game and in-game tactics and inspiration. Harnessing a range of football strategy sources and making relevant advice based on the situation, it also has the capacity to learn match by match, using the data it gathers to become an even better coach. The coach’s conversational voice interface is provided by Amazon Alexa, with OpenDialog behind the scenes powering the conversation, allowing for an experience that is both practical and engaging – there are inspirational quotes as well

The outcome:

Attention-grabbing headlines and a boost for STEM careers

The AI football coach made its debut at Isthmian League Premier Division club Wingate & Finchley FC, and helped generate over 200 pieces of coverage all over the world for The Big Bang Fair, including BBC News, Sky Sports, The Independent, ITV, the Daily Mail and The Mirror. GreenShoot Labs also ran an “Introduction to AI” workshop for the Wingate & Finchley local community, helping to support the STEM career goals of the project.

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