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DeepMind AI Challenges Pro StarCraft II Players

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by , 01-27-2019 at 11:01 AM (806 Views)
      
   

Humans tend to think we’re adept at the games we create, but computers have proven time and time again that we’re just not fast enough to stay on top. Machines have defeated us in chess, Jeopardy!, and even the deviously complex board game Go. Google-owned DeepMind gets credit for that last one, and now it’s dominating another game: StarCraft II. After just 18 months, DeepMind has an AI that beats the world’s best StarCraft II players, and it’s not even close.

DeepMind called its Go-dominating AI “AlphaGo,” and the StarCraft-playing bot got a similar moniker. It’s called AlphaStar, and it has more than 200 years of practice under its belt. Back at Blizzcon in November, DeepMind said its machine learning platform had managed to beat the “Insane” difficulty in-game AI about half the time. Well, it’s gotten much better since then.

AlphaStar is a convolutional neural network. The team started with replays of pro matches, giving AlphaStar a starting point to begin playing the game. Through intensive training with competing models, DeepMind was able to teach AlphaStar how to play the game as well as the best human players. Over time, it whittled the AI down to the five best “agents,” and that’s what it deployed against some of the most skilled StarCraft II players in the world.

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