DeepMind has achieved yet another milestone in the gaming world. The Google-owned artificial intelligence lab announced on Thursday that its new "AlphaStar" AI had beaten two of the world's best StarCraft II players. The pros that AlphaStar beat are Dario Wunsch and Grzego rz Komincz -- they're ranked 44th and 13th in the world respectively. The victories are being hailed as a major breakthrough by academics and AI industry watchers. While there have been several successes in video games such as Atari, Mario, Quake III Arena Capture the Flag, and Dota 2, AI systems haven't been able to deal with the complexity of StarCraft.
An artificial intelligence has defeated two top-ranked human players in the computer game StarCraft II, using some strategies rarely encountered before. On Thursday, gamers were able to watch the AI agent, called AlphaStar, expertly command armies of "Protoss" units against the professional players. The result: The AI beat the humans 10 out of the 11 matches. "I was surprised by how strong the agent was," said Dario "TLO" Wünsch, one of the human players. "AlphaStar takes well-known strategies and turns them on their head."
In recent years, StarCraft, considered to be one of the most challenging Real-Time Strategy (RTS) games and one of the longest-played esports of all time, has emerged by consensus as a "grand challenge" for AI research. Our StarCraft II program AlphaStar is the first Artificial Intelligence to defeat a top professional player. In a series of test matches held on 19 December 2018, AlphaStar decisively beat Team Liquid's Grzegorz "MaNa" Komincz, one of the world's strongest professional StarCraft players, 5-0, following a successful benchmark match against his team-mate Dario "TLO" Wünsch. The matches took place under professional match conditions on a competitive ladder map and without any game restrictions.
Deepmind presented an AI that could beat human champions at Starcraft II. It claimed the AI was limited to what human players can physically do, putting its achievement in the realm of strategic analysis rather than finger twitchery. But there's a problem: it was often tracked clicking with superhuman speed and efficiency. They have not succeeded in this and most likely are aware of it. I suspect Deepmind wanted to restrict it to a more human like performance but they are simply not able to.
DeepMind has ambitions to solve some of the world's most complex problems using artificial intelligence. But first, it needs to get really good at StarCraft. After months of training, the Alphabet-owned AI firm's AlphaStar program is now capable of playing a full game of StarCraft II against a professional human player – and winning. It might sound frivolous, but mastering a game as complex as StarCraft is a major technological leap for DeepMind's AI brains. The company showed off AlphaStar in a livestream where the five agents created by the program were initially pitted against professional player Dario "TLO" Wünsch in a pre-recorded five-game series.