Football Manager developer Sports Interactive has a history of inclusive gameplay, and that now extends to women. The company has revealed that it's adding women's soccer (aka football) to its management sim. This will likely be a "multi-year" project, SI warned, but this also isn't a simple character model swap. The studio wants to offer the same kind of depth it has for men's sport while accounting for the differences between players and leagues. There will be new models and databases, of course.
To bring more realism to "FIFA 22," EA Sports went to extremes on the pitch – and brought inclusivity to its announcing team. The video game publisher had 22 players put on Xsens motion capture suits and then play competitive matches in Spain. All that data – more than 8.7 million frames of advanced match capture, EA Sports says – will be used to create real-time soccer gameplay animations as players mash controller buttons. And the game maker also is bringing its first female announcer to the game: Alex Scott, who played for the English national team and Arsenal of the Women's Super League. "This is a big moment for FIFA, for football and women and girls across the world," she said on Twitter and Instagram.
There can be no doubt that the ability of AI to create fake multi-media content that is utterly convincing to humans represents a real and present threat to society, says Tim Winchcomb, head of technology strategy in wireless and digital services at Cambridge Consultants. The democratisation of manipulation techniques means that YouTubers already aspire to Hollywood-grade visual effects, while malicious individuals across the world stand ready to weaponise their synthetic realities. Yet all is not lost industry players are stepping up to meet the deepfakes challenge, convinced that a collaborative response will allow technology, and ultimately society, to prevail. The term deepfakes is a construct of deep learning essentially multi-layered neural networks and fake, which of course refers to misleading and usually harmful content that purports to represent reality. It can be particularly terrifying that these bogus moving and still images, audio or written text can be created in real-time.
The Silicon Valley-based company Knightscope has sold more than 50 of its artificial intelligence-powered, autonomous security robots to more than 20 clients. Their conical, five-foot robots feature four cameras and can scan license plates and pick up on individual cell phones' MAC addresses. While they don't look like a classic police officer with dress blues, they patrol the block at walking speed to keep neighborhoods safe. Their effectiveness has been difficult to prove so far, but behaviorally, they bring to mind the issue of humanoid robots. In his video series Robotics, Dr. John Long, Professor of Cognitive Science on the John Guy Vassar Chair of Natural History at Vassar College, explained how humanoid robots are becoming more like us.
Welcome to our June 2021 monthly digest where you can catch up with any AIhub stories you may have missed, get the low-down on recent events, and much more. In this edition we cover RoboCup 2021, take a look at a new comic series, ask "what is AI?", and treat our ears to some music composed with the help of AI. This month saw the running of RoboCup 2021 as a fully remote event with competitions and activities taking place all over the world. In this article, RoboCup President Peter Stone wrote about RoboCup and its role in the history and future of AI. In the run up to the event we had the pleasure of talking to members of the executive and organising committees for four different leagues within the RoboCup family.
As I write this blob post, we're a few days away from the opening of the 2021 RoboCup Competitions and Symposium. Running from June 22nd-28th, this event brings together AI and robotics researchers and learners from around the world, for the first (and ideally last!) time in a fully remote format. The first official international RoboCup event occurred 25 years ago, at the IROS 1996 conference in Osaka, Japan. Called "pre-RoboCup" because the first full RoboCup was slated to launch the following year at the 1997 IJCAI conference in Nagoya, the CMUnited team created by myself and my Ph.D. advisor, Manuela Veloso, was the only non-Japanese entry in the simulation competition, which was the only event that year. While RoboCup has indisputably played a huge role in the last quarter-century of AI research, it has also played a leading role in my own personal story.
RoboCup 2021 has now kicked off and there are events that the public can watch for free online. The conference is being hosted here, and you can also tune in to the different leagues, some of which have public livestreams of their compeitions. Below, we provide the links to the schedules for each league. Events will be online on YouTube and Bilibili (links pending). The events will be livestreamed on YouTube (link pending).
This year, RoboCup will be taking place from 22-28 June as a fully remote event with RoboCup competitions and activities taking place all over the world. RoboCup@Work is the newest league in RoboCup, targeting the use of robots in work-related scenarios. RoboCup@Work utilizes ideas and concepts from other RoboCup competitions to tackle open research challenges in industrial and service robotics. We spoke to Asad Norouzi, a member of the executive committee, about the league, how the competition will work, and the changes they've made to the event so that it can be held virtually. The league name is RoboCup@Work and it falls under the category of RoboCup Industrial.
As part of RoboCup 2021, events in the Humanoid League will be taking place virtually from 24-27 June. In the Humanoid League, autonomous robots with a human-like body plan and human-like senses play soccer against each other. We spoke to Maike Paetzel-Prüsmann, who serves on the executive and organising committees, about the league, how the competition usually works in the physical environment, and the changes they've made to the event so that it can be held virtually. In the Humanoid League there are very specific rules regarding what the robots need to look like. To make them as human-like as possible, there are a lot of constraints around how they look and how they can sense their environment.
Spectators sit stacked one row behind another, all craning their necks to look down at the miniaturized soccer pitch below them. With bated breath, they watch as a tiny player gently bumps the ball up the pitch toward its opponent. The goal in sight, the attacker has two options -- evade its opponent by expertly moving the ball around it, or send a safer pass to a teammate outside the fray. Like any soccer star, the player chooses glory and begins to putter its feet back and forth to move the ball -- when it begins to lose balance. And down it falls, like a felled tree.