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After Go, developers are now building AI to beat us at soccer

University students in South Korea will build AI programs for a football tournament later this year.

AI beat us at chess, and now they're looking to defeat us in soccer too.
Screenshot by CNET

Look out, Messi. After Google's AlphaGo artificial intelligence bested our best Go player, South Korea is now setting its sights on making AI that can play soccer. 

Hosted by the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST), the AI World Cup will see university students across South Korea developing AI programs to compete in a series of online games, reported The Korea Times. The prelims will begin in November.

"The football matches will be conducted in a five on five tournament," a KAIST spokesperson told the publication on Tuesday. "Each of the five AI-programmed players in such positions as striker, defender and goalkeeper will compete with their counterparts." 

That's not all though, as competing students will also build AI experts that can provide post-game analysis. 

It's not the first time researchers are putting their tech developments to the test using soccer. The first Robot World Cup soccer games (or RoboCup), an annual international robotics competition that aims to advance robotics and AI research, put competitive soccer-playing robots in the field a decade ago. But soccer isn't the only thing that tech can do -- in the same year, IBM's computer, Deep Blue, defeated Garry Kasparov in a game of chess. 

While the competition is only limited to university students in South Korea this time, it will be opened to international teams "in the first half of 2018," Kim Jong-hwan, president of the AI World Cup committee said in the statement.

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