This is both amazing and rather disturbing at the same time – AI bots have become smart enough to beat semi-pro Dota 2 teams. The company behind this, OpenAI, is backed by some pretty big investors including Elon Musk. Their mission is “Discovering and enacting the path to safe artificial general intelligence.” To this end, they’ve decided to test their abilities by trying to create an AI that can compete against professional DOTA 2 players at this year’s International 2018.
While this is the current goal, this isn’t exactly the first time we’ve seen their Dota 2 prowess. Last year, OpenAI’s bot bested Dendi, one of the best players in the game, in a 1 vs. 1 match. Despite their triumph, OpenAI wasn’t satisfied. They believed that they could train their system to be competitive in a full 5 vs. 5 game and began enhancing their algorithms to be able to do just that.
Their new system, OpenAI Five, plays 180 years worth of games every single day and learns through this self-play. The rate at which its understanding of the game improved sounds incredible. It took OpenAI Five about one month to go from matching evenly with OpenAI’s staff to consistently beating them.
Check out this short introduction video from OpenAI detailing their story as well as showcasing some of the matches held between the AI and their staff.
What’s particularly interesting about OpenAI Five is that the system does not actively communicate with the other bots. From my understanding, it seems as though each bot engages in its own actions and each respond accordingly. As the video above hinted at, the bots reach the same sort of strategic conclusions and just happen to make plays that lead to that general direction. Who knows how much more efficient the bots could be if they were able to more directly communicate with one another?
It’s really amazing how quickly AI is improving. At the same time, it’s a bit scary what this implies. While I’m eager to see how OpenAI Five fares at the International 2018, I’m hoping that unlike last year, we’re able to come out on top one more time. And by “we,” I mean mankind. Given the rate at which it grows, chances are, in the future it’ll be a lot more newsworthy if a person is actually able to beat an AI.
If you’re interested in learning more about OpenAI Five, you can visit their blog page where they describe in great detail all of the work they’re doing.