OpenAI’s Bot Software Defeats Two Semi-Pro Teams in Dota 2
OpenAI, a non-profit research group backed by Elon Musk, announced that its bot software has defeated a semi-professional Dota 2 team that is ranked among the top 1% of players, along with another team ranked in the top 10%. The AI participated in best-of-three matches against both teams, winning both iterations. Prior to facing semi-professional players, the AI had beaten three amateur teams.
Dota 2 is a multiplayer real-time strategy video game that was developed and published by Valve Corporation. Each team is assigned a base that sits on opposite sides of a map that may only be learned through exploration. Each team must battle toward the opposing team’s base and destroy a structure called Ancients while controlling a separate character who houses unique weapons and abilities.
The AI is designed to learn through trial-and-error while playing Dota 2 against itself. This machine learning technique is referred to by OpenAI as hierarchical reinforcement learning, which they described as mimicking the manner in which infants learn. The system also leveraged a number of other machine learning parameters to allow the AI’s game units to coordinate, explore and compete.
The OpenAI software learns by generating random movements before adapting to the manners in which to play successfully, often backed by a series of rewards that include in-game points. Video games are often utilized to further reinforcement learning research since games possess a points system to serve as interim rewards, while also differentiating a clear winner or loser.
OpenAI has been encouraging the artificial intelligence to try new tactics without drifting too far from the strategies it has already learned. To succeed in long-term strategic planning, the time between rewards that the AI received was extended as a means to continually encourage the bot toward success.
During software training, OpenAI used 128,000 preemptible computer cores and 256 graphics processing units to pair their prototype against the equivalent of 180 years worth of games against itself during a 19 day training period.
Further plans to challenge professional Dota 2 players have been confirmed, with a match against the top-ranked North American team planned for live streaming on July 28. Following this game, the software is set to take on the world’s highest-ranked professionals at The International, scheduled to occur August 20 to August 25 in Vancouver, Canada.