Youngstown native shares how he uses artificial intelligence to help train athletes


Dr. Wayne Mackey started his company State Space just over two years ago. He uses artificial technology as a way of testing cognitive skills and abilities.

(WKBN) – As technology continues to grow, society finds new ways to advance and prosper. One man from the Valley is using his company to do just that.

Dr. Wayne Mackey started his company State Space just over two years ago. 

He uses artificial technology as a way of testing cognitive skills and abilities.

“We’re basically right now, a data artificial intelligence company disguised as a fun gaming company,” Mackey said. “Using AI and my neuroscience background, created a series of tests in fun games that you can do that measure fundamental components of cognitive perceptual motor abilities.”

Each gaming session tests different skills, such as memory, hearing, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and visual biases.

“Whether we’re playing video games, or football or driving a car, If something appears in the upper left portion of my visual field, I react slower to it or I can’t perceive it as well, so we basically came up with a series of kind of tests, that in the form of games allows us to measure all this information,” he said.

The tests are designed to learn a person’s strengths and weaknesses, then creates a customized training program for them in real time. So, each time you go back and redo a session, it will have adapted to your skills based on your previous session.

Mackey said using gaming as a way to test these cognitive skills is a good way of holding one’s attention and making the testing fun and interactive. He said his company is also working with athletes, in particular, gamers.

“Working with some professional teams, players and things like that and developing ways to help gamers improve because it was just a head-up sport, you know… We opened up a beta for that software for gamers to be able to download and train and we actually have about a million players now, after eight months,” he said.

Mackey said they also recently partnered with the Pro-football Hall of Fame in Canton. They were able to be apart of the integrative medicine program, offering medical services to former athletes. 

“We measured things like their decision making abilities, their visual abilities, audio-spatial skills,” he said. 

Mackey said they also just began a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, NYU and Mount Sinai to do stroke rehabilitation. 

Mackey grew up in Youngstown and never imagined he would go on to get his PH.D. and begin a nationwide company. But he wants to encourage the youth in the area that there are possibilities ahead of them.

“Math and science you can do cool things with. With artificial intelligence, machine learning, making video games,” he said.

Right now, there is a training version of the program available online to download for free. In September there will be a mobile version available.

You can find out more information and how to download by visiting their website.

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