AlphaStar AI becomes first to reach Grandmaster rank in StarCraft
An artificial intelligence called AlphaStar has reached the top rank in Blizzard’s real-time strategy game StarCraft 2.
DeepMind Technologies has announced that AlphaStar had reached the highly coveted Grandmaster rank on the StarCraft 2 ladder, meaning that the AI is better than 99% of ranked players in the game. This achievement also marks the first time an AI has reached the top tier of a competitive title while playing under the same conditions as human players.
According the DeepMind blog, AlphaStar played on the Blizzard owned ranked servers, on the same maps and under the same conditions that any human player would log on and play under. Fans can even download the replays of the games that AlphaStar played.
The AI was developed alongside StarCraft 2 professional players Dario “TLO” Wünsch and Diego “Kelazhur” Schwimer, who played against AlphaStar in January of this year. According to TLO, the system doesn’t feel like it’s cheating, nor does it feel like it carries an artificial advantage. TLO says it feels fair playing against the advanced AI.
“I’ve found AlphaStar’s gameplay incredibly impressive – the system is very skilled at assessing its strategic position, and knows exactly when to engage or disengage with its opponent,” TLO said. “It doesn’t feel superhuman certainly not on a level that a human couldn’t theoretically achieve. Overall, it feels very fair like it is playing a ‘real’ game of StarCraft.”
AlphaStar has a separate neural network for each of the three races available to StarCraft 2 players, and each one learned to play by using a database of past games. These networks then played against each other to further refine their decision making processes. DeepMind hope that these developments can help with future development of AI systems.
“The techniques we used to develop AlphaStar will help further the safety and robustness of AI systems in general, and, we hope, may serve to advance our research in real-world domains,” the team said.
This is not the first time an AI has managed to beat human players in a complex game, as the IBM-developed supercomputer Deep Blue first managed to defeat a chess grandmaster in 1997. With literally millions of choices available to a StarCraft 2 player at any moment, this feat is arguably more impressive.
Visual Stories around the web
How do CSGO ranks work, and how to climb the ladder
A beginner's guide to the world of esports
Amid falling numbers, fans wonder if Dota 2 is doomed to die
Anti-toxicity AI Minerva fights bad behavior on FaceIT
Valve considers official involvement with Dota Auto Chess
Quincy Crew signs with Chaos Esports Club before Dota Summit 11
Only 3 players have a chance for perfect Worlds Pick’ems
ESGS 2019 brings together gamers from across the Philippines
CouRage is leaving Twitch to stream exclusively on YouTube
Team Secret reveals new team, returns at DreamLeague Leipzig Major
FaZe Jarvis permanently banned from Fortnite for using aimbot
Faker shaken after loss to G2, hints at changes coming to SKT
Fire alarm, costumed animal attack highlight Overwatch World Cup
Overwatch Season 19 has limited map pool, drops Paris, Horizon
Overwatch game mode Push explained in-depth by Jeff Kaplan
Overwatch 2 Story and Hero Mission details revealed
Astralis wins wild, wacky BLAST Stand-Off against Natus Vincere
G2 Esports earn spot in LoL Worlds 2019 finals by beating SKT
League of Legends All-Star Event is returning in December