Overdrive, this years’ Entelect Challenge (https://challenge.entelect.co.za/) launches today. The event will run from the 19th of March, and the finals will take place at Comic Con Africa (@AfricaComicCon) on the 26th September at 11am on the center stage. This year it is again being held at the Gallagher Convention Centre.
“Each year we look to build the Challenge around a popular game theme, and this year is “Overdrive,” says Bianca McFadyen, Marketing Manager, Entelect. “The idea behind the theme is not just to make it appealing to those of us who love gaming, but to also provide a game with simple enough rules that anyone with a basic understanding of programming can enter.”
This year, we will be running with a mini-playoffs series, a staggered strategy component.
The mini-playoffs series will provide more opportunities for contestants to win. As per last year, the contestants get the opportunity to win a golden ticket in each of the first two mini-playoffs and in the third mini-playoff the top six will win a golden ticket. This makes up the final eight that will compete at Comic Con in the final event.
There will be 3 mini-playoffs during the year. The first will be in May, known as Box Carting and the second in June, called The Furious and the Fast 42, with the third one taking place in August, called Vrrrpa! Wanna dice chaana?. At these playoffs, contestants will be able to pitch their bots against one another in a Round-Robin format.
The phases are designed to help contestants see how their bot is fairing. After each playoff event, a new strategy component will be launched, thereby upping the competition by adding in more bot strategies.
This year the Entelect Challenge University cup will be hosted for the third time. The University Cup is a one-day hackathon where teams of students from various universities around the country are challenged to solve a coding problem. With it we hope to give our future technology leaders a chance to flex their brain muscles and participate in something fun and rewarding!
As before the Player Portal will be available to contestants to test their bots, and the community forum for contestants to chat about their builds and discuss ideas.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that competing successfully in the Entelect Challenge is not about having the smartest, most supersonic bot. It is actually all about player strategies. Your bot may be really simple in design, but its strategy could be highly effective.”
Prize money for this years’ event is R200 000 which will be divided across the mini-playoffs series and finals, with the biggest component awarded at the Finals at Comic Con Africa. First prize will be R70 000, R35 000 will go to second place, third and fourth place will be awarded R25 000 and 5th place is R10 000.
Entelect runs the Challenge every year as a fun way to bring the software community together, but also to demystify the world of coding and AI. “We want as many people to enter this competition as possible and discover a whole new world of machine learning and AI,” says McFadyen.
Machine learning is a term that is often used interchangeably with AI but they are actually very different. Machine learning is a type of AI that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed by focusing on the development of computer programs that can change when exposed to new data. By comparison, AI is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems.
While AI is seeing an exciting growth, Machine Learning is all around us and changing the way we live and work. There is no doubt that jobs of the future will rely on Machine Learning to a greater or lesser extent.
The Entelect challenge shouldn’t be viewed as something that only super coding geeks can enter. This competition is designed for anyone with a basic level of programming who is interested in the world of machine learning and the future of software.
This year we expect a wide variety of people from different backgrounds to enter which is going to make the player strategies really exciting. Who could win is anyone’s guess?