Internet Programming

Test Your AI Coding Skills With This Programming Challenge

Saikat Basu 13-11-2017

Everyone’s betting on artificial intelligence. While some are warning that AI poses serious risks Here's Why Scientists Think You Should be Worried about Artificial Intelligence Do you think artificial intelligence is dangerous? Does AI may pose a serious risk to the human race. These are some reasons why you may want to be concerned. Read More , the fact is that artificial intelligence programming is where many careers are headed.


The good news is that you can jump into AI programming with widely popular languages like Python, Java, C++, and even older languages like Lisp, so get back to the screen and see if your skills are sharp enough to make your mark in this budding and buzzing field.

In other words, put your skills to the test in this AI programming challenge — fly around a virtual universe, send ships to mine planets, and grow larger fleets to defeat your opponents.

Build a Bot for Battle

Halite is an artificial intelligence programming challenge open to coders of all levels. The goal is to build bots using the coding language of your choice (it’s language agnostic) and take it to battle in a virtual universe.

Halite Programming Contest

The idea came to two high school interns (Benjamin Spector and Michael Truell) who were heading towards a future in AI when they decided to build this programming contest for enthusiasts.


This year’s contest, called Halite II, has a space theme and you can have a go at it any time between October 2017 to January 2018. It’s already November now, but you can still join even up to the last week of the competition.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sign up via GitHub.
  2. Watch a few games to get a feel for the environment.
  3. Download a basic bot and starter kit for your platform and language of choice.
  4. Improve the basic bot with AI code and submit it and follow its performance.
  5. Update the bot with improvements as you progress in the game.

This video shows a game board in action:

The idea is to take a prototype (the basic bot) and make it smarter with AI programming. Halite is the arena your customized bot will be the gladiator fighting it out with other bots. The rules of the contest make it a fun way to learn and apply AI, machine learning, and other advanced algorithms.

Halite says that smart strategy will ensure a win:

“The best tactics for Halite II will require the use of sophisticated pathfinding, using concepts such as Prim’s and Dijkstra’s algorithms and the Traveling Salesman Problem.”

What do you think about the Halite challenge? Have you participated in any other AI programming contest?

Related topics: Artificial Intelligence, Education Technology, Programming.

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