Published in Gaming

Humans can still beat AI in StarCraft

by on06 November 2017

Even if AI is better at Chess

While AI might have mastered Chess, it still can’t beat a human at StarCraft.

StarCraft player Song Byung-gu won 4-0 in the world's first contest between AI systems and professional human players.

According to MIT Technology Review, one of the bots, dubbed "CherryPi" was developed by Facebook's AI research lab. The other bots came from Australia, Norway, and Korea. The contest took place at Sejong University in Seoul, Korea, which has hosted annual StarCraft AI competitions since 2010.

Those previous events matched AI systems against each other  - rather than against humans - and were organised, in part, by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a US-based engineering association.

Probably because it was not a famous game like Chess or Go the recent Sejong competition is significant because the AI research community considers StarCraft a particularly tricky game for bots to master.

Following AlphaGo's lopsided victory over Lee Sedol last year, and other AI achievements in chess and Atari video games, attention shifted to whether bots could also defeat humans in real-time games such as StarCraft.

Executives at Alphabet's AI-focused division, DeepMind, have hinted that they are interested in organising such a competition in the future.

Song, who ranks among the best StarCraft players globally, trounced all four bots involved in less than 27 minutes total.

The most extended match lasted about 10 and a half minutes; the shortest, just four and a half.

The bots could move much faster and control multiple tasks at the same time. At one point, the StarCraft bot developed in Norway was completing 19,000 actions per minute. Most professional StarCraft players can't make more than a few hundred moves a minute.


Last modified on 06 November 2017
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