Photo Credit: Fiona Goodall / Stringer / Getty Images, Video Credit: McKinsey

Technology New Zealand3. April 2021

Intelligent Bot Helps Sailing Team Win the Big Race

To take home the 36th America’s Cup – the trophy that celebrates sailing skills – a New Zealand team used an artificially intelligent (AI) bot to help them boost their boat design process.

The AI bot goes through “deep reinforcement training” and endlessly repeats racing scenarios while adjusting variables. “Since the bot keeps experimenting if you coach it to learn in the right way, it compresses into hours what would take a human year to understand,” says Nic Hohn, one of the key project leaders.

Innovating design is as important as sailing skills when it comes to America’s Cup, the oldest international sports trophy in the world. For this edition, Emirates Team New Zealand added an AI bot to test drive thousands of boat designs, leaving more time for the crew to train for the race on the water – and giving them an edge on the competitor in design and training.


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