The Oregon Ducks might have Nike in their pocket -- or is it the other way around? -- but the United States Department of Defense has a vested interested in the Oregon State Beavers.

Military officials supporting computer scientists in the field of artificial intelligence have made important advances based on research of Beavers football.

The study's goal is to have computers watch video of football plays, learn from them, and then use the results to assist in other areas where a lot of movement is occurring in a short time -- like on a battlefield or even in an airport.

"The idea is for a computer to observe a complex operation, learn how to do it, and then optimize those operations or accomplish other related tasks," reports Science Daily.

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The technology blends computer vision, machine learning and automated planning to create a new system that might improve productivity in a number of areas. Computer vision and controls may also help hospitals and nursing homes monitor patients who need care. Even the efficiency of the nation's busiest airports could be improved.

Science Daily reports the National Science Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA) are supporting the research being done in a collaboration between Oregon State and the Institute for the study of Learning and Expertise in Palo Alto, Calif.

The study is still in its beginning stages, but scientists say they think they'll have commercial applications within a few years.

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