Computers

AI beats the world's best gamers after just two weeks of learning

A bot has beaten the world's top Dota2 players during The International, a giant eSports tournament with a prize pool of over US$20 million dollars
A bot has beaten the world's top Dota2 players during The International, a giant eSports tournament with a prize pool of over US$20 million dollars
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A bot has beaten the world's top Dota2 players during The International, a giant eSports tournament with a prize pool of over US$20 million dollars
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A bot has beaten the world's top Dota2 players during The International, a giant eSports tournament with a prize pool of over US$20 million dollars
Elon Musk / Twitter
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Elon Musk / Twitter

The past year has proven to be a landmark in artificial intelligence research. We have seen several big breakthroughs in AI development that were years in the making, from finally decimating human competitors in the incredibly difficult game of Go, to cracking the complexity of poker and snatching a heap of money from the professionals.

Games have turned out to be an important training ground for artificial intelligence. The complex, and dynamic, problems that surface while playing a game often require solutions that can't easily be "programmed".

Elon Musk's OpenAI research company has long had an emphasis on reinforcement learning, a type of machine learning where a system improves the quality of its actions independently through trial and error. The company has recently unleashed its latest bot on The International, a giant eSports tournament focusing on the game Dota 2.

OpenAI used Dota 2 as a test project for its machine learning systems due to the complexity and interactivity of the game. Dota 2 requires players to plan, trick, and deceive opponents with a great deal of sophistication.

"The rules of Dota are so complicated that if you just think really hard about how the game works and try to write those rules down, you're not even gonna be able to reach the performance of a reasonable player," says Greg Brockman from OpenAI.

So the team set the bot to teach itself how to play the game through self-play. The system learned to conquer the game from scratch by playing a mirror of itself. After just two weeks of learning, the bot beat several of the world's top Dota 2 players including "Dendi", a professional regarded as one of the most creative and unorthodox players on the scene.

Elon Musk / Twitter
Elon Musk / Twitter

At this stage the bot only plays in the more simplistic one-to-one version of Dota 2. The full, and exponentially more complex, version is played by two teams of five. The OpenAI team are now working on teaching teams of bots to play this complete version, aiming to unleash the AI on The International again next year.

"Beyond that we want to start mixing together AIs and human players on a single team and try to reach a level of performance that neither of them could reach on their own," says Brockman.

These kinds of AI experiments are more than just simple novelty. They allow researchers the ability to further refine the machine learning algorithms that will be key to functional AI in the future. The better the machines are at learning on the fly, the better they will be able to function in the real world when confronted with unique or anomalous circumstances.

Take a look at the OpenAI Dota 2 experiment in the video below.

OpenAI + Dota 2

Source: OpenAI

3 comments
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I'm confused. He says, "we're starting with a bot capable of beating top professionals at Dota 1v1," and then says right after that, "our bot is trained entirely through self play and starts out completely random with no knowledge of the world." Is Dota really that complicated for a computer? Processors can just as easily analyze one rule as they can a million. A computer is essentially an aim bot and would make little to no mistakes in terms of taking cover and making shots. It has almost instantaneous reaction time and could program itself to track player movements and shots with little processing power. It's a no contest with human competitors. It's great to see this concept become a reality but I feel like in this day and age it's not a great feat to build an engine like this and program it in this way.
Daishi
TO _, That's because dota2 is not a first person shooter so it's not just about beating reaction times with an aim bot. The game is a MOBA very similar to League of Legends.
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DAISHI, I realize this. I've never played Dota myself but have played LoL a few times. I am aware of how they are played. Some players are shooters and hand to hand combat is really the same. You're playing a chess match with your soldiers and securing bases by pushing ground. If they're programmed to be insanely good at 1v1 then there isn't much gap to cover with teamwork. I'm obviously being very critical but I just don't see it.
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