Artificial Intelligence: Robocup arrives in Bordeaux in 2020!

The new Aquitaine capital has been selected to host the 2020 edition of the RoboCup. The decision was announced last June in Montreal (where the 2018 edition took place) by the international committee of the robotics tournament. Indeed, the RoboCup is a global gathering of several teams of high-tech robots that compete in a football competition. By 2050, one of the goals of the project is to achieve a match against a human world champion team. This is an initiative to stimulate research into robotics and artificial intelligence. At first glance, the challenge obviously seems utopian, but not impossible. Held this year in Montreal, the 2019 edition was won by the City of Sydney in Australia. From 23 to 29 June 2020, the competition will take place in Bordeaux. The venue is still unknown, but there is no doubt that the RoboCup 2020 will be one of the major events of the year.

An internationally recognized technology event

Each year, the competition brings together thousands of participants from all over the world (45 countries represented on average) who come to form hundreds of teams. On average, nearly 3,500 people divided into 450 teams participate in the tournament. Beyond competition, issues related to motor, sensory and cognitive intelligence are addressed. Their use and implementation in public or private places is the subject of lively discussions. Introduced in 1997, the football challenge is the emblematic test of reference. Teams are divided into several leagues. First, the “small size” league for robots with centralized behaviors, then the “middle size” league for wheeled robots with distributed behaviors. The leagues of standard humanoid robots and humanoid robots designed by the participants complete the panorama. In addition to Football, the RoboCup also offers several simulation leagues such as the “Rescue”, where robots must save individuals in an apocalyptic site, or the “Home” league, where robots are companions of the house and perform household chores. Controlled by simulators, the progress and performance of robots are analyzed. The RoboCup is therefore the world’s best tournament not to be missed for robotics and artificial intelligence enthusiasts.

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An educational dimension for New Aquitaine

Alain Rousset, President of the New Aquitaine Regional Council, appreciates the idea of hosting the international robotics competition. Indeed, he expressed his enthusiasm before explaining that the Robocup will be “a reflection of the action taken by the New Aquitaine Region around three pillars: Training, Research and Innovation”. The city’s mayor, Alain Juppé, also welcomed the decision. He said that “the metropolis of Bordeaux is proud to become the world capital of robots and artificial intelligence in 2020”. All this is a consideration that shows the region’s desire to develop the sector. Artificial Intelligence, which has grown by a staggering 30% over the last ten years, tends to become a reference area in the coming years. Logically it has become a development perspective with robotics. Much appreciated by young computer science students, experiments, demonstrations and technical tests in artificial intelligence are very interesting for these computer enthusiasts. This is true in computer schools. In July 2018, Yann Prudent (Director of Innovation at Epitech) confirms that AI is one of the technologies that interests students the most. Indeed, she began to integrate the trainings of the IONIS Group specialized in Computer Science and Mathematics (Epitech, EPITA and Sup’ Internet). With the presence of many students from around the world, the RoboCup will be a way for them to exchange new topics related to AI. Indeed, they will be able to start the debate of the “University of the Future”.

Artificial intelligence an issue for future societies

Far from being fictitious, Artificial Intelligence will gradually integrate our daily lives into businesses, universities or cities. Like what now exists in England, Germany and the United States, the University of the Future is a tool for anticipation and reflection on the digital revolution, and its dizzying consequences on society as a whole. With the dizzying progress of Artificial Intelligence, there is no doubt that this sector will be a major issue of the 11th century. If we are still in the pre-history of the electronic brain, we must recognize that AI is already superior to humans in specific areas, such as chess, go-play, or data processing. This, of course, must not call into question the intellectual competence of the human being, which remains the vital factor of a company despite technological developments. Innovations must be designed by humans and humans. The future evolution of AI, combined with that of robotics, will profoundly change humanity and society in the decades to come.







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