Artificial intelligence conquers StarCraft II in 'unimaginably unusual' AI breakthrough

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A major artificial intelligence milestone has been passed after an AI algorithm was able to defeat some of the world's best players at the real-time strategy game StarCraft II. Researchers at leading AI firm DeepMind developed a programme called AlphaStar capable of reaching the top eSport league for the popular video game, ranking among the top 0.2 per cent of all human players. A paper detailing the achievement, published in the scientific journal Nature, reveals how a technique called reinforcement learning allowed the algorithm to essentially teach itself effective strategies and counter-strategies. "The history of progress in artificial intelligence has been marked by milestone achievements in games. Ever since computers cracked Go, chess and poker, StarCraft has emerged by consensus as the next grand challenge," said David Silver, a principal research scientist at DeepMind.