Since IBM's chess program, Deep Blue beat champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, game-playing AIs have grown more and more advanced.
"Human players must explicitly manage an "economy of attention" to decide where to focus the camera", the DeepMind team said. "However, analysis of AlphaStar's games suggests that it manages an implicit focus of attention".
This was different and much more complex than beating a human at a board game as StarCraft II is a real-time strategy game, unlike Go or Chess which are played one turn at a time.
Following that match DeepMind began training its agent in preparation for a match against one of the best Protoss players in the world, Grzegorz "MaNa" Komincz. The match took place live on stream to demonstrate the power of Deep Mind. DeepMind initially trained the AI to learn by imitating human players from previously recorded StarCraft matches.
You might think that AlphaStar would have a sort of home court advantage in a computer game.
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While we've seen AI best humans in a number of games including Go, Dota 2 and Mario, Starcraft presents unique and interesting circumstances for an AI to master.
Doing this let the system test new strategies, discard the bad ones, and then refine the good ones. In the next one, the AI made a decision to amass a huge fleet of Carrier starships.
Though AlphaStar has just been trained to play StarCraft II as a Protoss, DeepMind research scientist Oriol Vinyals said the company plans to train it to play the game's other groups as well. The AlphaStar league only ran for 14 days. AlphaStar then continued to improve by having different versions of itself play against each other, with each experiencing up to 200 years of real-time SC2 play. Now, it's beating professionals at StarCraft, a popular sci-fi strategy game. But in reality, AlphaStar didn't need to win by out-clicking his human competitors. For example, by not taking many more actions per minute in the game than a person would.
By simply copying human player strategies, AlphaStar was soon able to overcome "Elite" level AI players in the game. The 11 matches were played under certain restrictions, which limited both the AI and the humans to playing the game as one alien race, the Protoss, and on a single map.
Despite the loss, Wünsch said he was confident he could eventually beat AlphaStar if he had more chances to play against the AI.