AI Advances: Computers Learning to Play StarCraft

Brian Fung of the Washington Post: “Earlier this year, researchers’ artificial intelligence beat a human in the dazzlingly complex board game known as Go. Not just once, but four times. It was a milestone in machine learning.”

“Now, the same Google-backed researchers who designed AlphaGo have their sights set on dominating a new game: Starcraft, the classic computer strategy game that has attracted millions of fans, some of whom duel online in professional tournaments hosted by real-life sports leagues.”

“Researchers from U.K.-based DeepMind want to train a bot that can play StarCraft II in real time — making decisions about which military units to send on scouting missions, and how to allocate resources and ultimately conquer other players.”

“Beginning next year, the game will serve as a research platform for any AI researcher who wants to use it, potentially allowing myriad player-algorithms to train off of the same game. And joining the effort is the game’s publisher, Blizzard, which is working with DeepMind to set up the platform.”

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