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Austin, Texas is widely known for several staples ranging from popular musical festivals to its barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine. In the tech community, the live music capital of the world is home to one of the largest and oldest communities of artificial intelligence researchers in the world. That fact made it easy for the Association of the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) to select the city as its annual conference location.

 AAAI is an international non-profit society devoted to promoting research in the area of artificial intelligence (AI). The purpose of this conference is to showcase and encourage different AI research, and scientific exchange among AI researchers, practitioners, scientists, and engineers in various areas of disciplines. 

The conference held at the Hyatt Regency from January 25-30 featured various guest speakers, games, demonstrations and researchers that presented their work.

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Popular technology that gained interest was that of unmanned aircrafts, or drones, for their work in assisting public safety and search missions. Robotics also drew in interest with researchers participating in the “RoboCup” and letting their self operated robots play a game of soccer. 

University of Texas at Austin students programmed their robots to allow them to respond to specific situations on the field.  The team, coached by UTCS professor Peter Stone, has recently won a previous RoboCup in Brazil just last year. The goal of the project is to create robots that are capable of playing against humans in the 2050 World Cup. 

UT has more than a dozen AI-related labs on its campus. This allows students, faculty and researchers the chance to explore various AI avenues. This made the city an appealing host for the conference.

“This is a great way to be inspired and get up to speed on what artificial intelligence is really about,” Stone said in an interview with Time Warner Cable News.

The next AAAI conference will be held February 12, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information on this year’s conference and artificial intelligence, you can visit

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