Aichallenge.org has started their third AI contest this year: Ants.
The AI Challenge is all about creating artificial intelligence, whether you are a beginning programmer or an expert. ... [Y]ou will create a computer program (in any language) that controls a colony of ants which fight against other colonies for domination. ... The current phase of the contest will end December 18th at 11:59pm EST. At that time submissions will be closed. Shortly thereafter the final tournament will be started. ... Upon completion the contest winner will be announced and all results will be publically available.
Ants is a multi-player strategy game set on a plot of dirt with water for obstacles and food that randomly drops. Each player has one or more hills where ants will spawn. The objective is for players to seek and destroy the most enemy ant hills while defending their own hills. Players must also gather food to spawn more ants, however, if all of a player's hills are destroyed they can't spawn any more ants.
I mentioned this in the open thread, and there was a discussion about possibly making one or more "official" LessWrong teams. D_Alex has offered a motivational prize. If this interests you, please discuss in the comments!