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.
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."
You'd be forgiven for assuming that DeepMind's artificial intelligence technology has already proven its chops. Back in 2016 the celebrated computer lab watched one of its AI programs do the unthinkable and win a game of Go against then world champion – and human being – Lee Sedol. Mastering the ancient Chinese board game was just one example of the machine learning DeepMind is hoping it can ultimately use to revolutionise sectors like science, healthcare, and energy. For the next step on that journey, DeepMind has turned its attention to StarCraft II. The seven-year-old RTS may still be an esports sensation, but it's not an obvious step up from Go.
Studies show that lots of Americans are worried that AI is coming for their jobs -- Uber and Lyft drivers, couriers, receptionists, even software engineers. A remarkable exhibition match today suggested that another group that should be worried is ... pro video gamers? In a stunning demonstration of how far AI capabilities have come, AlphaStar -- a new AI system from Google's DeepMind -- competed with pro players in a series of competitive StarCraft games. StarCraft is a complicated strategy game that requires players to consider hundreds of options at any given moment, to make strategic choices with payoffs a long way down the road, and to operate in a fast-changing environment with imperfect information. More than 200,000 games are played every day.
Today in "computer beats human at thing computers could not previously beat humans at" news: Google Deepmind has bested StarCraft 2 pros at their own game. "AlphaStar" was unveiled on a livestream last night, in a show revolving around matches against top StarCraft pros Grzegorz "MaNa" Komincz and Dario "TLO" Wünsch. All the games AlphaStar won were actually prerecorded, because GOOGLE ARE COWARDS COME FIGHT ME. Notably, the AI was playing the same version of StarCraft that you or I could boot up right now – unlike OpenAI's Dota bots, who failed to beat Dota 2 pros last year at a cutback version of the game. That's 2-0 to Google, who also beat the GO world champion back in 2016.