Could Robots Beat World Cup-Winning Athletes By 2050? These Scientists Think So


Judging by the speed technology is evolving, they will probably beat humans (I mean human athletes) by 2030.

While most football fans dream of watching the World Cup Final live once in their lifetime, a group of robotics scientists wishes to take it up a notch and see a football game between the best human football players and the best robots. Now that would be interesting…

An organization founded by a group of robotics scientists has been running annual global soccer tournaments, The Robot Soccer World Cup or RoboCup for robots since 1997. The organization has high hopes from the robotic players and one day hopes to see them compete with the best human players from around the world in a friendly game of football. The RoboCup has already set a goal for itself which is, “By the middle of the 21st Century, a team of fully autonomous humanoid robot soccer players shall win a soccer game, complying with the official rules of [football governing body] FIFA, against the winner of the most recent World Cup.”

The teams under RoboCups already have human-shaped robots with advanced artificial intelligence systems that enable them to make decisions on their own and play football like normal players by passing or shooting the ball. But don’t let that description intimidate you because well, they’re quite small (and adorable) in size as compared to actual humans.

The big question is, “Will these robots ever be good enough to beat the next big champions of the World Cup by 2050?” According to Peter Stone, RoboCup president and computer science professor at the University of Texas at Austin, “It’s certainly plausible. I wouldn’t bet too much on it but I wouldn’t bet too much against it either. Thirty years is a long time technologically speaking. A lot can happen in that kind of time span” Well guess we should start saving up for that bet today.


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