Our New DoTA-Playing Overlords

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1 min read
Human view (left) and AI view (right) of the video game Defense of The Ancients 2 (DoTA)

A software agent from OpenAI crushed human players of Defense of The Ancients 2, a multiplayer online game, in an Internet-wide free-for-all.

What’s new: More than 15,000 humans took on OpenAI Five over four days last week. The bot won 99.4 percent of 7,215 games.

How it works: OpenAI Five is a team of five neural networks. Each contains a single 1,024-unit LSTM layer that tracks the game and transmits actions through several independent action heads.

The challenge: DoTA2 is enormously complex. Games last around 45 minutes, requiring long-term strategy. The landscape is not entirely visible at all times, so players must infer the missing information. Roughly 1,000 possible actions are available at any moment. And it’s played by teams, so the five neural nets must employ teamwork.

What they’re saying: “No one was able to find the kinds of easy-to-execute exploits that human programmed game bots suffer from,” OpenAI CTO Greg Brockman told VentureBeat.

We’re thinking: OpenAI is one of several teams doing brilliant work in playing video games. We're thrilled by their accomplishment and momentum. But when and how will these algorithms translate to more practical applications?


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