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Two Sigma Launches Halite III: The Open Source Competition for Artificial Intelligence Experimentation

In Its Third Consecutive Year, Competition Balances Immersive Gameplay with Real-World Relevance

Two Sigma launches the third edition of Halite, an artificial intelligence programming challenge in which players write bots to compete in an original online multi-agent game. The open source challenge enables programmers to experiment with and apply AI, machine learning, and advanced algorithms in an open-ended game setting with real-world relevance. New offerings in Halite III include a web-based code editor, interactive tutorials, and enhanced set of developer tools.

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The Halite III competition will run from October 16, 2018 – January 22, 2019 and builds on the momentum of last year’s challenge, which brought together more than 6,000 professionals and students from over 100 countries playing in 20 programming languages. The Halite III game has a resource manage premise; players’ bots control ships that navigate an ocean map collecting halite, an energy resource. The bot that collects the most halite wins the game. Like previous Halite games, Halite III is simple to explain and difficult to solve, with a branching factor many times greater than that of the game of Go.

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Camille Fournier, head of Platform Engineering at Two Sigma said, “We are excited to continue the Halite tradition of providing programmers of all experience levels with the opportunity to experiment with advanced techniques and build skills applicable outside of the game setting. The open-ended nature of Halite helps players develop and exercise a systems mindset that is key to building software.”

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Halite is inspired by Two Sigma’s commitment to creative and collaborative problem-solving and learning. Tools and documentation make it easier than ever to submit a bot, and the game allows for creative and deep strategies. For those players interested in machine learning, Two Sigma, along with the support of Google Cloud, will provide access to GPU-enabled compute instances.

Alfred Spector, chief technology officer at Two Sigma, said, “At Two Sigma, our mission is to find value in the world’s data by applying engineering and scientific method. We are thrilled to once again be opening the opportunity for players to learn and apply algorithms in a dynamic game setting, while promoting the principles of CS + X with a game relevant to a number of disciplines.”

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