Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

Dota 2-Playing Robot Beats the Pros at The International

Dota 2-Playing Robot Beats the Pros at The International

The machines have won again: last night, OpenAI's Dota 2 bot beat Danil "Dendi" Ishutin at The International, one of the biggest eSports events in the world, and remains undefeated against the world's top Dota 2 players. The company claims that the AI was able to defeat the humans not because of its actions-per-minute but due to its live grasp of the opponent's strategy and planning accordingly.

The AI win stunned the gaming community, because bots are generally considered inferior to expert human players.

OpenAI, the non-profit organization co-founded by Elon Musk in 2015 with a mission to build safe AGI, and ensure AGI's benefits are as widely and evenly distributed as possible; has recently developed a bot that could beat the best in the popular cult game Dota 2 in one on one matches under standard tournament rules. Footage of those matches can be found on Dota 2 Rapier's YouTube channel.

"We've coached it to learn just from playing against itself", said OpenAI researcher Jakub Pachocki. The fear of the AI system evolving into Skynet has since been debunked, but combined with the DOTA 2-playing OpenAI bot, we can't help but wonder what the future holds for the technology. The title not only involves much more freedom of movement than most board games, but depends on feinting, denial and other less-than-obvious tactics.

The pro-grade Dota player was quite surprised as he got thrashed by the ruthless AI in two games which ultimately compelled him to cancel further matches. A second round ended similarly, with Dendi surrendering after a few minutes. OpenAI stated that its AI had been performing at the championship and it has already defeated the Pakistan-based gamer Sumail (the world's best 1v1 player), and Arteezy (the world's overall top player).

"He's too strong", Dendi said with a smile, referring to the bot.

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