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posted by martyb on Friday August 11 2017, @06:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the Game-On! dept.

Tic-tac-toe, checkers, chess, Go, poker. Artificial intelligence rolled over each of these games like a relentless tide. Now Google's DeepMind is taking on the multiplayer space-war videogame StarCraft II. No one expects the robot to win anytime soon. But when it does, it will be a far greater achievement than DeepMind's conquest of Go—and not just because StarCraft is a professional e-sport watched by fans for millions of hours each month.

DeepMind and Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind StarCraft, just released the tools to let AI researchers create bots capable of competing in a galactic war against humans. The bots will see and do all all the things human players can do, and nothing more. They will not enjoy an unfair advantage.

DeepMind and Blizzard also are opening a cache of data from 65,000 past StarCraft II games that will likely be vital to the development of these bots, and say the trove will grow by around half a million games each month. DeepMind applied machine-learning techniques to Go matchups to develop its champion-beating Go bot, AlphaGo. A new DeepMind paper includes early results from feeding StarCraft data to its learning software, and shows it is a long way from mastering the game. And Google is not the only big company getting more serious about StarCraft. Late Monday, Facebook released its own collection of data from 65,000 human-on-human games of the original StarCraft to help bot builders.

[...] Beating StarCraft will require numerous breakthroughs. And simply pointing current machine-learning algorithms at the new tranches of past games to copy humans won't be enough. Computers will need to develop styles of play tuned to their own strengths, for example in multi-tasking, says Martin Rooijackers, creator of leading automated StarCraft player LetaBot. "The way that a bot plays StarCraft is different from how a human plays it," he says. After all, the Wright brothers didn't get machines to fly by copying birds.

Churchill guesses it will be five years before a StarCraft bot can beat a human. He also notes that many experts predicted a similar timeframe for Go—right before AlphaGo burst onto the scene.

Have any Soylentils here experimented with Deep Learning algorithms in a game context? If so how did it go and how did it compare to more traditional opponent strategies?

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/googles-ai-declares-galactic-war-on-starcraft-/


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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday August 11 2017, @06:31AM (3 children)

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday August 11 2017, @06:31AM (#552161) Journal

    Microsoft should do the same thing but with AOE2 [wikipedia.org] (the fourth expansion, Rise of the Rajas, came out in December 2016).

    DeepMind [wikipedia.org] started out with Pong, Space Invaders, etc. Microsoft did Ms Pac-Man [bbc.com]. Now DeepMind is taking on Starcraft so Microsoft should synergize and go for AOE2.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11 2017, @06:45AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11 2017, @06:45AM (#552168)

    Get back to me when they've got an AI that can either gold farm in WoW or ISK farm in Eve Online without getting caught.

    *THEN* we'll talk.

    Also. Screw Blizzard getting to call them SC and SC2. Anybody who was a game in the 90s should know SC was Star Control :) Thankfully the UQM project has superceded the need for those acronyms for half of the Star Control games anyway.

  • (Score: 2) by TheB on Saturday August 12 2017, @06:57AM

    by TheB (1538) on Saturday August 12 2017, @06:57AM (#552780)

    ...while Open AI is doing DOTA 2 [youtube.com]

    Would be more interesting if they would all play the same game.
    Something like the Cyber Grand Challenge [youtube.com]
    where multiple teams compete against each other using the same hardware.