The Imagine Cup, Microsoft's yearly digital media competition, has this year added an AI programming battle to its roster of prizes - and now the company is inviting games tech students to take part.

Microsoft calls on student games programmers

The Project Hoshimi Programming Battle is just the latest step in the Imagine Cup, which has run for five years. The event includes a number of invitationals including strands in digital photography, short film and interface design – all entries for which must address a real world problem. The theme for this year is education.

But Microsoft UK is powering up the programming strand, hoping to find expert would-be coders willing to take on the first round of challenges and then potentially making it through to represent the UK at the Korean final later this year.

“Project Hoshimi offers students the opportunity to combine their classroom-learned A.I. theory together with their programming prowess, and compete in a real-time head-to-head gaming environment,” explained Andrew Sithers, academic lead ar Microsoft.

“We see the audience for Hoshimi competitors coming from A.I., gaming and traditional Computer Science courses. It really is a unique way of bringing the subject to life, and leads to some really nail-biting situations, as each game unfolds.”

To enter, students are invited to upload an AI strategy file (written in any of the .Net languages) to Microsoft’s entry system. Deadline for the first round of submissions is March 1st. More information can be found here.

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