Google's DeepMind division has made considerable efforts to apply artificial intelligence to issues such as computer vision and climate change, but there is still room for gaming. DeepMind first dominated the game of Go, then switched to StarCraft II, beat some of the best players in the world early this year. Now, you could have a chance of play against IA AlphaStarbut you will probably be destroyed.
Before challenging the professional players, Deepmind Simulated more than 200 years of StarCraft II gameplay to form the bot. It's a convolutive neural network that began by absorbing reruns of StarCraft II pro matches. By using competing models, DeepMind has trained several "agents" capable of building and fighting, as well as human players – better, in fact. AlphaStar has won 10 of 11 matches against professional players.
Previous matches were an impressive demonstration of AI prowess. AlphaStar had a better understanding of resource allocation, coverage and micromanagement of units than most human actors. Naturally, his ability to transparently control multiple units has also helped. Although, he did not take as much action as human players to win.
The experiment will run on Blizzard's European servers, where a small number of humans will be paired with AlphaGo in part 1v1. They will not know it, but players have to sign up for a chance to compete with the AI. Unfortunately, there is no way to make sure you can play against AlphaStar.
Blizzard will let DeepMind manage several different agents on Battle.net, and their operation will be different from that of the last demo. The new AlphaStar will be able to play against or one of the three StarCraft II races (it was only before Protoss). It also relies on a normal view of the game by the camera, while the former used a bird's eye view of the entire map. DeepMind has also limited alphaStar shares per minute (APM).
DeepMind is primarily interested in testing AlphaStar in matches where players change their strategies, and keeping the secrecy of the match ensures a controlled test. After being presumably murdered by artificial intelligence, players will see their rankings affected as if they had played a human opponent. DeepMind will use the results of this test to inform future research on AI, and the results of the matches will be included in a future scientific article.