R100,000 for winning Pac-Man AI

Entelect has announced its third annual artificial intelligence (AI) programming challenge, offering a R100,000 winners purse for the hacker that comes up with the best competitive Pac-Man-playing AI.

Last year, the company offered its R100k prize to the programmer that built the winning AI for a modified version of the classic Nintendo Family Computer game, Battle City.

The competition is run in association with NAG Magazine and, as before, the finals will be played at this year’s rAge Expo, held on 4 October 2014.

Entelect will also host a special event on 13 September 2014 at the Fire & Ice Hotel in Melrose Arch, where it said it will announce the final 8 contestants in front of gaming and technology media.

A big change from previous years is that contestants will be ranked into 2 different pools before the competition begins.

“Entrants will be paired off against each other under the supervision of an automated mediator program ,which will rank the entrants into one of two pools based on their performance,” the terms & conditions policy of the competition says.

AIs in the two pools will then be pitted against one another in a double-elimination style tournament to determine the final 4 contestants for that pool.

“Once allocated to a pool, entrants will not be allowed to be moved into a different pool,” Entelect said. “Entrants will be notified of their pools no later than 1st September 2014.”

The grand prize for Pool A (the advanced pool) is R100,000 cash, with runner up prizes to be announced.

The beginner pool, Pool B, has a grand prize of R50,000 cash. Its runner-up prizes are also yet to be announced.

An additional cash prize of R15,000 for “the most innovative and impressive GUI” is also available at this year’s contest.

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R100,000 for winning Pac-Man AI