August 18, 2019

AI Is Getting Much Better at Video Games

“An artificial intelligence has defeated two top-ranked human players in the computer game StarCraft II, using some strategies rarely encountered before.

On Thursday, gamers were able to watch the AI agent, called AlphaStar, expertly command armies of “Protoss” units against the professional players. The result: The AI beat the humans 10 out of the 11 matches.

“I was surprised by how strong the agent was,” said Dario “TLO” Wünsch, one of the human players. “AlphaStar takes well-known strategies and turns them on their head.”

The AI comes from DeepMind, the Alphabet-owned company that trained an artificial intelligence to beat the top-ranked player of the Chinese board game Go. To see if the company’s technology could master a more complex game, DeepMind decided to train an AI to play StarCraft, the sci-fi real-time strategy game.

On Thursday, DeepMind publicized the results by showing off game footage taped in December of AlphaStar squaring off against Wunsch and another top-ranked player named Grzegorz “MaNa” Komincz. The outcome did not fare well for the humans; the AI often changed up tactics, making it hard to predict how each match might play out. The machine was also bold, attacking with risky maneuvers humans generally avoid.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"On Christmas Eve of 1966, Paddy Roy Bates, a retired British army major, drove a small boat with an outboard motor seven miles off the coast of England into the North Sea. He had sneaked out of his house in the middle of the night, inspired..."

"The book that changed lecturer, activist, and current presidential candidate Marianne Williamson’s life, A Course in Miracles, is not available for free online, but its workbook is. You can find it on the website for the Foundation for..."

"Here are two sets of statements from far-distant opposites in the climate change debate. The first is from Naomi Klein, who in her book This Changes Everything paints a bleak picture of a global socioeconomic system gone wrong: “There is a..."

"Voters who trust their government — and each other — are more supportive of ambitious welfare states than those who do not. Across nations, high levels of social trust correlate with high levels of social spending. The relationship between these..."

"With the presidential campaign under way, expect to hear a lot more about a shiny new toy of progressive economic thinking, “modern monetary theory.” It seems to be the only intellectual contortion that might allow candidates to promise..."

"“We don’t want to fight y’all. We’re not trying to go to jail.” That’s what A$AP Rocky, the 30-year-old New York City rapper, can be heard saying in a video of an encounter with strangers in Sweden that has ballooned into an international crisis."

"Israel’s top officials are considering denying Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib entry to their country due to their outspoken, controversial criticism of Israel’s policy toward Palestinians, not to mention their slurs against American Jews as..."

"For most of our lives, we have been conditioned to share a piece of personal information without a moment’s hesitation: our phone number. We punch in our digits at the grocery store to get a member discount or at the pharmacy to pick up..."