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BYU students create foosball table with artificial intelligence

(Jaren Wilkey/BYU)


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PROVO — Concerns that artificial intelligence could overtake humans has spread to a new arena — the foosball table.

For a school project, six computer engineering students at Brigham Young University worked together to make a foosball table that could bring heartbreak to humans who love to win tiny soccer games. By creating a software program that mimics human responses and reacts to foosball movements using robotic controls, the team successfully made a table that could best its masters.

Photo: Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Photo: Jaren Wilkey/BYU

“It’s becoming a challenge for us to beat the artificial intelligence,” student Nathan Warner said in a statement. “You think, ‘Oh yeah, humans ultimately should always be better than the computer,’ but we’re actually struggling to keep up.”

The program can react to movements on the table a lot faster than humans, according to electrical and computer engineering professor D.J. Lee. A camera placed over the foosball table tracks the location and movement of the ball.

BYU shared a video on YouTube Monday that shows the program in action.

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Natalie Crofts

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