The first AI-created sport: Researchers unveil six-player 'Speedgate' created by combining rules of 400 other games

  • A.I. is exercising its knowledge of sports by creating its own game 
  • Using inputs of 400 other sports the computer system created 'speedgate'
  • Speedgate is a mix of rugby, lacrosse, and other sports tested by humans 
  • Not all sports suggested by the A.I. were hits, like 'pommel horse sawing'

Conjuring up unique ways to test the limits of the body through sport is about the most human exercise that people can engage in.

That's exactly why artificial intelligence is joining in on the fun.

Design firm AKQA says that it has introduced the world's first-ever sport designed by artificial intelligence which it calls, 'speedgate.'

The game, according to the firm, was created by feeding rules from 400 different sports into a neural network and letting a computer combine them based on three key factors.


Researchers say they wanted the final product to be easy to learn, accessible to all athletes, and be physically engaging, or a 'good work out' as they put it.

The results from AKQA's experiment look a little something like if Rugby combined with Quidditch and then added just a sprinkle of Lacrosse to the amalgam.

In practice, the game works by placing competitors in a pill shaped field — two teams of six players each — and then having them work together to pass or kick a ball through three different 'gates' created by parallel posts.

What really stands out in speedgate, however, is in its name.

The ball has to move every 3 seconds otherwise players incur a penalty, ensuring a pace befitting of the title of 'sport.'

While artificial intelligence may have done the grunt work of mapping out ideas, rules, parameters, and even logos and taglines for the sport, in the end it was up to humans to determine exactly what worked and what didn't.

Speedgate, says AKQA, was selected out of three finalists and was the result of human testing and honing of the AI's thousands of outputs.

In some suggested sports, the official ball was the size of a yoga ball, some were played in a gym, others used rackets, but in the end they landed on speedgate.

As reported by Fast Company, the outputs weren't all created equally.

The system also sent out fairly inane suggestions like 'pommel horse sawing,' which the team described as 'two people sit on pommel horses on opposite sides of a giant log, they rock back and forth with a saw.'

According Engadget, speedgate may be in its fledgling stage as a sport, but that doesn't mean there's not room for a more professional future.

AKQA is currently in talks with the Oregon Sports Authority about establishing intramural leagues and is actively promoting potential players to start their own leagues.

To help immerse players in the idea of speedgate, the game even has its own philosophy, also created by the game's artificially intelligent founder.

'Face the ball, to be the ball, to be above the ball.'


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