Elon Musk couldn’t contain his excitement when a bot from his AI startup OpenAI beat one of the best Dota 2 pro players in a 1-vs-1 match.
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
Last night, participants and spectators at Valve‘s yearly Dota 2 tournament were treated to a surprised segment. They got to witness the next ‘potential’ best player in the world for the first time – an AI bot!#OpenAI bot just defeated #Dota 2 pro gamer Dendi in a one on one match! Click To Tweet
We’ve all heard about computers that can defeat humans in classic games like chess and Go. Now, technological advancement in the fields of AI studies has progressed quite a lot. Now it’s possible to create highly intelligent bots that can beat people in more complicated games.
Games like DOTA 2.
Such was the case with the bot developed by Musk-backed San Francisco-based company OpenAI.
Crushing Professional Dota Players
According to OpenAI CTO Greg Brockman, the bot played a ‘thousand lifetimes’ against itself to train for the match.
In a statement published on the company’s blog site, the developers said:
“We’ve created a bot which beats the world’s top professionals at 1v1 matches of Dota 2 under standard tournament rules. The bot learned the game from scratch by self-play, and does not use imitation learning or tree search. This is a step towards building AI systems which accomplish well-defined goals in messy, complicated situations involving real humans.”
The match was held live on the stage at The International, Valve’s $24 million USD flagship tournament. Surprisingly, The OpenAI bot was able to defeat professional gamer Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin in a one on one match.
The bot was able to beat Dendi in less than 10 minutes during the first game. By the second match, the pro gamer didn’t want to to play another game against the machine. The crowd could hear him say “this guy is scary” as they watched the battle.
Over the past week, OpenAI made claims that their bot was also able to beat other top professional gamers. This boast included some top names in the league, too. For example, they mentioned Sumail, who is the top 1v1 player in the world, and Arteezy, the top overall player in the world.
On to the Next Game!
In an interview with Business Insider after the game, Brockman said that ‘self-playing’ is key to the advances that OpenAI is pushing for. An AI system doesn’t learn anything if it goes up against either a weaker player or a far stronger one. By playing itself, it always has a worthy opponent, he said.
“Success in Dota requires players to develop intuitions about their opponents and plan accordingly. In the above video you can see that our bot has learned — entirely via self-play — to predict where other players will move, to improvise in response to unfamiliar situations, and how to influence the other player’s allied units to help it succeed,” another part of the OpenAI blog post read.
Brockman expressed high hopes of using the same OpenAI bot to play other games. He went on to state that the bot’s ‘self-playing’ principles are applicable almost anywhere.
It should be noted that this is not the first time that a tech company used a game to test its AI technology. For instance, Google’s Deepmind has used StarCraft 2, a game quite similar to Dota 2, in its AI research.