San Francisco-based OpenAI developed bots that are now able to beat humans in 5-on-5 team matches on popular strategy game Dota 2, marking a milestone for artificial intelligence research.

Al algorithms usually operate independently, so this is being considered a major breakthrough as OpenAI was able to make the algorithms work with each other in beating their human opponents.

OpenAI Bots Beat Humans In 'Dota 2' Team Matches

OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research startup supported by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, unleashed an AI-powered bot last year at The International, the biggest annual Dota 2 tournament. The bot faced off and won against Danil Ishutin, more popularly known as Dendi and considered to be one of the best Dota 2 players in the world, in 1-on-1 matches.

Nearly a year later, OpenAI is back with the algorithmic A team that the research laboratory calls the OpenAI Five. Similar to last year's bot at The International, each algorithm of the OpenAI Five uses a neural network in not only learning how to play Dota 2, but also in teaming up with its AI team members.

In an official blog post, OpenAI revealed that the OpenAI Five play 180 years' worth of games against themselves each day. This intense training has allowed the team of bots to start defeating teams composed of amateur human players in Dota 2.

OpenAI will come full circle in a couple of months, when the OpenAI Five will challenge the best Dota 2 teams in the world at this year's The International.

Artificial Intelligence In Video Games

Why are researchers teaching artificial intelligence to play video games, out of all the possible tasks? The reason is simple: if AI systems are able to learn the skills needed to play video games, they will be able to use those skills to solve real-world problems. Some of these problems, such as managing groups of people or determining the quickest solution, resemble things that players encounter in video games.

It also helps that mastering Dota 2 is a challenging task for AI. Chess and Go, board games that have seen their fair share of AI applications, may end in fewer than 40 and 150 moves, respectively. Meanwhile, bots need to make 20,000 moves in a 45-minute Dota 2 match.

"As long as the AI can explore, it will learn, given enough time," OpenAI chief technology officer Greg Brockman told Quartz. If artificial intelligence can learn to play Dota 2 well enough to beat humans, then the potential for the technology is limitless.

The milestone of AI systems collaborating with one another, as demonstrated by the OpenAI Five, opens up a wide range of applications for the technology. AI algorithms may be able to team up to accomplish tasks even faster, and may even work with humans in achieving goals.

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