With AI research in mind, Blizzard and DeepMind release StarCraft II API

10 Août, 2017, 14:45 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • In Starcraft II players have to collect resources explore territory and build bases to defeat their opponent.    
   Image Blizzard

"But when it comes to the full game, even strong baseline agents, such as A3C, can not win a single game against even the easiest built-in AI", the blog post said, adding that one agent had failed to complete trivial tasks such as keeping its workers mining.

StarCraft and StarCraft II are among the biggest and most successful games of all time, with players competing in tournaments for more than 20 years. The built-in agents, which are created by StarCraft publisher Activision Blizzard Inc., use hard-coded rules to determine their game play rather than the kinds of advanced machine learning techniques the London-based DeepMind specializes in. The algorithm that mastered the Atari games was unveiled in June 2016.

The release makes it possible for developers and researchers alike to test and observe AI agents as they go about any number of complex tasks that make up a StarCraft II match.

The company said in its blog post that its existing algorithms performed well at learning some basic steps - such as moving around the game environment and selecting units - that will be critical to mastering the game.Games have long served as milestones for computer science research. The main goal is certainly to win the game, but to accomplish this goal, the AI has to manage sub-goals like finding resources, building units, and more. "Finally, the map is only partially observed, meaning agents must use a combination of memory and planning to succeed". The toolkit also has a full 1v1 ladder game against the StarCraft II integrated AI.

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Starcraft II has been a target for Alphabet's DeepMind AI research for a while now - the UK AI company took on Blizzard's sci-fi strategy game starting previous year, and announced plans to create an open AI research environment based on the game to make it possible for others to contribute to the effort of creating a virtual agent who can best the top human StarCraft players in the world.

The set of tools released by DeepMind include several elements from the game that can help in development of artificial intelligence.

DeepMind says that one of the best learning policies for the AI agents is imitation learning. This mechanism for enabling outside creators into integrate their apps into StarCraft II is going to open up the competitive sci-fi strategy game to researchers working in the field of A.I.

DeepMind had announced in November that it would be using StarCraft II as a testing platform for AI and machine-learning research, opening the environment worldwide.

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