Later this month, the best Dota 2 teams in the world will meet in Vancouver for the biggest tournament of the year, The International. The annual contest consistently boasts the highest prize pool in eSports (it's up to $23.5 million already this year), not to mention the glory that comes with winning the prestigious event. It may not be long, however, before a team of non-human players becomes worthy of such success. This weekend, the all-bot roster of OpenAI Five took on a team of Dota 2 casters and ex-pro players that individually rank amongst some of the best in the world. OpenAI Five won the best-of-three exhibition match convincingly, and the only reason the human team took a game was thanks to a little help from the audience.
AI may have beaten the world's best Go player, but Dota 2 pros have shown that in their game, humans are still top of the food chain -- for now, at least. Last week, Dota 2 players from around the world clashed at the biggest tournament of the year, The International, with team OG taking the title and over $11 million in prize money. Arguably more important, though, was the contest of man versus machine(-learning) in a best-of-three exhibition series. OpenAI, the research group co-founded by Elon Musk, took its team of five bots to The International to square up against professional players in their toughest test yet. Earlier in August, OpenAI wiped the floor with a squad of Dota 2 casters and ex-pro players in a warm-up match.
Most of the games that machines can now challenge humans in are strategic, but slow: Chess, Go and poker, unless played in very specific settings, have no time constraints on player moves. That is what has made the work of research group OpenAI, in online team brawler Dota 2 - which requires real-time decision-making between potentially dozens of choices in a single frame - so different. OpenAI's bots, the OpenAI Five, went head-to-head against teams of professional players at Dota 2's annual championship, The International, this August. Although the bots lost, the matches provided an insight into how reinforcement learning is changing the game when it comes to artificial intelligence. It's safe to say that AI has a reputation in gaming: many players consider a match to be an instant loss if they have to play with a bot, and a disconnect is often accompanied by "GG".
The Dota 2 world championship, The Invitational, is fast approaching, and a top team will have a different-looking squad to contend with: a group of artificial intelligence bots. OpenAI, which Elon Musk co-founded, has been taking on top Dota 2 players with the bots since last year, and now it's gunning for a team of top professionals in an exhibition match at one of the biggest events in eSports. OpenAI took on individual players at last year's The Invitational in a one-on-one minigame, and pros said that by watching the matches back, they were able to learn from the bots. But playing as a team introduces different types of intricacies, and OpenAI had to teach the AI how to coordinate the five bots. At any time, a hero (or character) can make one of around 1,000 actions; the bots have to make effective decisions while processing around 20,000 values representing what's going on in the game at a given time.
The International In the past hour, OpenAI's artificially intelligent bots lost their first match against professional players at smash-hit computer game Dota 2 at The International – the video game's annual championship tournament. It's the first bout in a best-of-three competition between human professional players versus OpenAI's code, the other two rounds will take place over the next two days, each day a different human team. Thousands of hardcore Dota fans lit up by glowing bracelets sat down at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada, to watch pros battle against a machine running OpenAI's software in this first round. The humans – dubbed Team paiN – were five players from Brazil, while OpenAI Five is made up five long-short-term memory neural-network-based agents. Dota 2 is a popular battle strategy game played online.