Throwing yet another caution in the wind about the growing cognizance and capabilities of artificial intelligence, an artificial intelligence team of five just took on 2018’s champions of the massive popular DotA 2 video game, and defeated them two-nil in a best of three contest. The team in question is OpenAI Five, developed by the AI research startup backed by serial entrepreneur and investor Sam Altman, and the ever-mercurial Elon Musk. The contest was held against team OG, who are the reigning champions of DotA 2 international, with a best of three series being contested over the weekend in San Francisco.
The straight victory was not without questions, since the human competitors were placed with a set of restrictions that the AI players were not trained in. While many might argue that this does not represent a fair playing ground, the restrictions were put in place to give the players similar operational tools to contest the matches. The victory, which came in two straight matches, marks a massive improvement of OpenAI over its previous year’s performance, where it lost to paIN, a team that placed 18th in the same tournament.
Following the victory, Greg Brockman, Corporate Technology Officer (CTO) of OpenAI announced an open invitation for all interested researchers and gamers to contest OpenAI, or play alongside it. The move is a clever one, since it would allow OpenAI to further train its algorithms better with purpose-specific moves, and hopefully represent a no-holds-barred approach to gaming by the algorithms, next year. The victory also represents the cutting edge advantages of artificial intelligence — the rapid speed of improvement shows its superior capabilities over humans, giving it an edge in terms of performance, given enough time and training.
OpenAI is presently engaged in developing its AI algorithms in order to position its products for professional, industrial application. The open invitation matches of DotA for OpenAI will be held from April 18 to 21, during which players across the world can enter the OpenAI Five arena, and play with or against the algos. It remains to be seen how OpenAI stacks up in the unprecedented AI DotA 2 matches, and it will be a remarkable turn of events if it manages to come victorious.