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Grandinetti, Justin. 2019. Welcome to a New Generation of Entertainment: Amazon Web Services and the Normalization of Big Data Analytics and RFID Tracking. Surveillance & Society17(1/2): 169-175. | ISSN: 1477-7487 © The author(s), 2019 | Licensed to the Surveillance Studies Network under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license Justin Grandinetti North Carolina State University, USA [email protected] AbstractThe 2017 partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) promises novel forms of cutting-edge real-time statistical analysis through the use of both radio frequency identification (RFID) chips and Amazon’s cloud-based machine learning and data-analytics tools. This use of RFID is heralded for its possibilities: for broadcasters, who are now capable of providing more thorough analysis; for fans, who can experience the game on a deeper analytical level using the NFL’s Next Gen Stats; and for coaches, who can capitalize on data-driven pattern recognition to gain a statistical edge over their competitors in real-time. In this paper, we respond to calls for further examination of the discursive positionings of RFID and big data technologies (Frith 2015; Kitchin and Dodge 2011). Specifically, this synthesis of RFID and cloud computing infrastructure via corporate partnership provides an alternative discursive positioning of two technologies that are often part of asymmetrical relations of power (Andrejevic 2014). Consequently, it is critical to examine the efforts of Amazon and the NFL to normalize pervasive spatial data collection and analytics to a mass audience by presenting these surveillance technologies as helpful tools for accessing new forms of data-driven knowing and analysis. Introduction A weekly fixture of 2018 Sunday Night Football broadcasts was a 30-second spot for Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) partnership with the NFL. In the advertisement, video footage of a game-changing touchdown from the 2017 Super Bowl Championship is interspliced with “fans” watching the events from a sports bar. The voiceover for the ad notes the improbability of the event, noting that during this play, “With each tick of the clock, AI from Amazon Web Services processed thousands of data points to generate real-time insights, proving that a 19% chance was all Foles [the quarterback] needed to change the course of history.” As the actors quasi fans celebrate the (now mathematically quantified) pivotal score, the voiceover ends with a pointed provocation underscoring the gravitas of these new data-driven analytics: “Welcome to the next generation of football.” This “next generation” collaboration between the NFL and Amazon Web Services promises novel forms of cutting-edge real-time statistical analysis through the use of both radio frequency identification (RFID) chips and Amazon’s cloud-based machine learning and data-analytics tools. Such experimental use of Article Welcome to a New Generation of Entertainment: Amazon Web Services and the Normalization of Big Data Analytics and RFID Tracking

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Term
Fall
Professor
Kussoy, Carolina
Tags
The Land, Radio frequency identification

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