Nand Kishor Contributor

Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc... ...

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Nand Kishor is the Product Manager of House of Bots. After finishing his studies in computer science, he ideated & re-launched Real Estate Business Intelligence Tool, where he created one of the leading Business Intelligence Tool for property price analysis in 2012. He also writes, research and sharing knowledge about Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Data Science, Big Data, Python Language etc...

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How Team New Zealand used artificial intelligence to help win America's Cup

By Nand Kishor |Email | Oct 31, 2017 | 12219 Views

Team New Zealand used an artificial intelligence agent to help set up their stunning America's Cup victory.

The genius innovations behind the successful Kiwi campaign in Bermuda continue to emerge four months after they blitzed the challenger series and defenders Oracle Team USA to win back the Auld Mug.

Stuck in New Zealand and short on money and time to build a second test boat to engage their cycle-powered AC50, the Kiwis went to the computers to find a "virtual" rival to train against.

By the time Emirates Team New Zealand lined out against Oracle Team USA for the America's Cup match, helmsman Peter Burling was well schooled in tactics thanks to battling an artificial intelligence agent.

The AI was crucial to getting Cup rookie Peter Burling up to speed with starting manoeuvres and tactics in the lightning-fast foiling catamarans.

Puerto Rico sailor Juan Perdomo offered to help Team NZ at the America's Cup with his expertise in sailing and AI.

The AI revelations come via young intern Juan Perdomo. The 22-year-old sailor from San Juan, Puerto Rico, hit up Emirates Team New Zealand for a job and got the call-up to join technical director Dan Bernasconi's software simulation team.

Having narrowly missed out on getting a Laser berth at the Rio Olympics for Puerto Rico, Perdomo offered a sailing and science perspective for the Cup campaign courtesy of his Harvard University studies where he is majoring in maths and computer science.

Moving to Auckland, he helped the team's computer whizzes come up with a program that was basically a state-of-the-art video game. They built an AI agent that could sail by itself and be used to practice against, meaning the Team New Zealand crew didn't even have to go on the water at times to improve their skills.

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling got to walk away with the America's Cup, such was his dominance of Jimmy Spithill in the match.

"It's really a difficult problem from a computational perspective to build something that can not only sail by itself without any human input, but also to perform well in a wide range of wind conditions against a world class opponent," Perdomo told allatsea.net.

"It's like trying to design chess AI software that can beat Gary Kasparov. But unlike chess you don't have access to a large database of games played by grandmasters that you can use to train the program. Therefore, you must think about the problem differently.

"It was a fun experience to try and implement different versions and to get ideas by reading the latest academic papers that had been published."

Emirates Team New Zealand under intense pressure from Oracle Team USA in the starting box.

Perdomo said it was thrilling to see such hard work rewarded and he had learned plenty from his experiences in the Team New Zealand syndicate.

"Everyone from the sailors, to the shore crew, to the design team showed such a strong commitment to build the best team possible and exhibited a contagious culture of excitement and purpose to bring the America's Cup back to New Zealand.

"I think that just being part of the team and experiencing the culture first hand are the things that I'm really going to take away from my time there," he said.

Moving to Auckland, he helped the team's computer whizzes come up with a program that was basically a state-of-the-art video game. They built an AI agent that could sail by itself and be used to practice against, meaning the Team New Zealand crew didn't even have to go on the water at times to improve their skills.

Source: Stuff