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Friday, June 24, 2016

Today In The AA [#12]: Leading up to RoboCup

In order to conquer the grand challenges of artificial intelligence, researchers have setup games and competitions to bring together members of the scientific community, and establish benchmarks for AI systems.

Some historic milestones include

    (1997) Deep Blue vs Garry Kasparov

            This was the first machine to defeat a world champion in Chess.

    (2016) Alphago vs Lee Sedol

         Google's AlphaGo AI defeats the world champion "Go" player.
These two milestones are iconic, in that both involve the defeat of the best "known" human at the time; while the complexity difference between Go and Chess is immense.

Many such breakthroughs in AI are demonstrated on the software side; however I've found that when applying the same models to a physical system, much more complexity is introduced. There is noise from the environment, making nothing certain.


RoboCup is one such competition focusing on humanoid robotics. The goal is to have a robotic football(soccer) team defeat their human counterpart in the FIFA world cup of 2050.

Games and sport provide a friendly medium for research, relating with a global population and providing a well established rule set. Don't let the term "sport" or "game" fool you. The ulterior motive is for the expansion to domains such as medical science and search and rescue.

Travel Plan

I'll be heading down to Taoyuan by Sunday to meet with Jacky at the airport. Our flight leaves around midnight, and we'll take a 12-13 hour flight to Amsterdam for 6am, then a transfer to Munich, Germany by 10:55am. From that point, it's go time. I don't expect much sleep during this week, so I'll try to collect my thoughts now.

The University of Manitoba AALAB is allied with the  AUT  (Amirkabir University of Technology), under the name AUTMan. I look forward to meeting the Iranian team and experiencing Germany, and Robocup, and geez I can't believe I've been given so much as a simple undergraduate. I'll do my best, it's truly an honour.

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