DeepMind's ‘Starcraft II’ AI will play public matches

Joanna Estrada
July 12, 2019

Having been declared the divine overlord of Go and laid waste to thousands of Dota 2 players, our AI overlords are officially coming to conquer the StarCraft 2 ladder.

To verse AlphaStar, although you won't know you've played the AI until you watch the replays, you'll need to tick the DeepMind opt-in option on the 1v1 Versus menu. Blizzard also ensures AlphaStar won't be learning from these matches so it can't improve during the period. Winning or losing against AlphaStar will affect a player's MMR, as normal.

In order to opt-in to play against AlphaStar, you can click the "opt-in" button on the in-game pop-up window.

AlphaStar is an AI designed by Google's DeepMind that's bulit specifically to play StarCraft 2, and it's very good at the job. In December, the AI dominated a pair of top-ranked StarCraft players. "DeepMind will release the research results in a peer-reviewed scientific paper along with replays of AlphaStar's matches".

Multiple experimental variants of AlphaStar will take part in the test and it will play 1v1 matches only, as, and against, all three factions in the game. Some critics believe the AI has unfair advantages when competing against humans, like the ability to digest more raw computer data from the matches, when a person can only rely on what they see from game's graphics. It will perceive the map using a "camera-like view" and won't have access to anything happening outside the visible map area.

AlphaStar will also be capped to an unspecified number actions per minute and per second to help ensure the AI competes on a level playing field. On the official site, the folks behind the AI say the restrictions "have been applied in consultation with pro players".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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