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DeepMind AI taught digital people to play football from scratch

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Artificial intelligence can train digital players the rules and mechanics of football

Yeow Hui Ho / Alamy

AI has trained a computer to play football, using digital players who started out able to only make goofy, random movements but learned to run and kick the ball into the goal.

Researchers at US tech firm DeepMind, owned by the same parent company as Google, used a series of AI methods to build up the football prowess of two two-player teams.

Before training, the players, which look similar to those in football video games, would writhe around on …