Yesterday, during The International, Valve's yearly Dota 2 tournament, a bot created by Elon Musk-backed startup OpenAI, defeated some of the game's best players. One of these was Danylo "Dendi" Ishutin, who was was crushed in the first round within 10 minutes of play, and was forced to surrender a few minutes into the second round.
Dendi's thoughts upon the OpenAI bot were interesting, and he noted that the AI "feels a little bit like a human, but at the same time it’s something else."
It was quite surprising to witness crowd-favorite Dendi get humiliated by this new bot - one that specializes in ''self-play'', according to OpenAI CTO Greg Brockman, who also mentioned ahead of the clash that:
Dota is a great testbed for artificial intelligence. It's a very complicated game, with a large competitive scene, and what this means is you have to develop new techniques. You have to push forward the boundaries of what's possible in order to get anywhere.
He also emphasized upon the fact that over the course of the event, the AI had improved its skills by matching up against a number of professional Dota 2 players. In fact, some of these players had volunteered to keep playing against the bot "as part of their training routine".
Elon Musk, co-chairman of OpenAI, expressed his appreciation for the non-profit artificial intelligence research company via twitter, saying:
OpenAI first ever to defeat world's best players in competitive eSports. Vastly more complex than traditional board games like chess & Go.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 12, 2017
It is important to note that this was a 1v1 matchup, different from the traditional 5v5 setup. From what Brockman said, it seems that the company is hoping that the bot keeps on learning as quickly as it currently is, and improve upon its cooperative techniques to take on a full team of professionals before long.
This is not the first time that artificial intelligence has surpassed humans in the gaming arena; earlier this year, Google's AlphaGo defeated the world's top Go player. Elon Musk himself has expressed concerns about the growing threat of AI and the need to regulate it "before it's too late".
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Source: The Verge