In the first-of-its-kind contest, Google will offer a prize of cash, travel vouchers, and Google Cloud Platform credits, valued at more than $100,000.
Unity, the maker of the Unity game engine, is creating the contest to test the capabilities of intelligent agents and accelerate the research and development of AI. (Unity recently got in a spat with Improbable over a licensing dispute.)
The Obstacle Tower Challenge will be a new benchmark aimed at testing the vision, control, planning, and generalization abilities of AI systems — capabilities that no other benchmark has tested together before.
The Obstacle Tower Challenge is built upon Unity’s Obstacle Tower, a newly released game-like environment intended for machine learning researchers. The Obstacle Tower environment involves a combination of platform-style gameplay with puzzles and planning problems inside a tower setting with potentially endless floors. The challenge will examine how machines operate in a variety of areas, including computer vision, locomotion skills, and high-level planning, through platform-style gameplay with puzzles and planning problems.
“Each of the Tower floors is procedurally-generated, which means an AI agent must not only be able to solve a single version of the Tower but any arbitrary version as well. In this way, we’re testing the generalization ability of agents, a key capability that has not often been analyzed by benchmarks in the past,” said Danny Lange, vice president of AI and machine learning at Unity Technologies, in a statement. “Essentially, with the launch of the Obstacle Tower Challenge, we hope to stimulate new AI research and further the field of reinforcement learning.”
Obstacle tower challenge details
The challenge begins on Monday, February 11 and will run through Friday, May 24. During the entrant period, there are two pre-established contestant rounds:
- Round 1 (February 11 to March 31): All participants will have the opportunity to play up to floor 25 of the Obstacle Tower in the first round.
- Round 2 (April 15 to May 24): Round 2 is the final, 100-floor round.
- Winners announced (June 14).