Google, the parent company of British artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind Technologies has partnered with Blizzard — the developer and publisher of military science fiction real-time strategy video game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The aim of the collaboration is to make DeepMind AI beat StarCraft II.
Pushing Boundaries Of AI Development
Developers are trying to push boundaries of AI to develop programs that can learn how to solve complex problems without any human intervention. Gaming environments are a great way of testing AI capabilities.
"StarCraft is an interesting testing environment for current AI research because it provides a useful bridge to the messiness of the real-world. The skills required for an agent to progress through the environment and play StarCraft well could ultimately transfer to real-world tasks," says DeepMind.
Beating StarCraft II will be a big achievement for DeepMind, especially given the complexity of the game, which can be difficult even for pro human players.
In StarCraft II, a player has to show effective and efficient use of memory, ability to plan for long and adapt to new situations. Computer systems can manage fast control; however, computers cannot demonstrate human-like intelligence as needed in games such as StarCraft II.
How DeepMind Will Evolve While Playing Starcraft II
The strategic game requires players to expand their base, which needs coordination of mouse clicks, details of available resources and camera location. Such a task could be relatively workable for humans but it can be difficult for computers to coordinate everything simultaneously.
New StarCraft II players are given tutorials to better understand all aspects of the game. The same tutorial is being given to DeepMind AI so that the system can learn how to play the game effectively without any help from humans.
AI is said to be the future of technology. It has great benefits for the human race. Efficient AI can reduce error in comparison to humans. AI can also be very helpful in space exploration where humans cannot go or when it is dangerous for humans to explore specific regions.
StarCraft II will serve as a good platform for DeepMind AI as the game requires players to explore given maps with unexplored regions and gather resources to survive and grow. Players have to send scouts to unseen areas to search for resources and opponents.
It remains to be seen how quickly DeepMind is able to understand StarCraft II and over time beat the game.