Google DeepMind beat 10 StarCraft 2 pros, although it had a bit of an unfair advantage.
The rise of the machines is here, and StarCraft 2 pros had better watch out. In a special showcase to demonstrate the prowess of DeepMind, the AlphaStar AI won 10-1 against its human opponents, Dario ‘TLO’ Wünsch, and Grzegorz ‘MaNa’ Komincz.
The matches that were broadcast were recorded back in December, with each pro playing five games against the AI.
AlphaStar had a couple of advantages; the first being the ability to zoom out and see the map in its entirety – although the fog of war was still in place. The second was the fact that it played around 200 years of StarCraft 2 in one week, and as an added kick in the groin for TLO, his match used the Protoss units, which isn’t his preference.
You can check out the action in the video below.
Interestingly, AlphaStar carried out fewer actions per minute than the pros – averaging around 280, but it was described as being “more precise” – and its reaction time was also slower than the human players, coming in at 350 milliseconds.
A new version of AlphaStar was revealed after the pre-recorded matches aired, and it went up against MaNa in a live match.
This iteration was unable to zoom out to the degree of its predecessor, and had a limited view that was equal to MaNa’s. The AI had a week to familiarise itself with this perspective but ultimately lost the game.
So Skynet can be stopped after all. Huzzah!