Machines have scored another victory over humans in the ongoing man vs machine saga after a team of AIs working together successfully beat five semi-professional humans at the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) video game of Dota 2. ‘Silicon beat meat’ (as one spectator put it) 2-1.
The team of AIs are known as OpenAI Five and they were developed by OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab founded by Elon Musk and Y Combinator president Sam Altman.
OpenAI’s agents previously beat some of the top human players in 1v1 matches but this is the first time a group of agents have come together to beat a team of humans in the top 99.95 percentile at Dota 2. The team modes are harder as they require more coordination and long-term planning.
Greg Brockman, OpenAI cofounder and CTO, described the day of play as an “emotional ride” on Twitter. He added: “Extremely proud of the OpenAI team and very excited to continue improving the system as we prepare for The International [Dota 2 tournament].”
Games like Dota 2 are one of the best ways to challenge AI systems and test their intelligence. Systems like OpenAI Five learn how to play games by analysing large quantities of data from thousands of previous matches.
The endeavour may seem futile but AI researchers believe that they will eventually be able to train algorithms to solve certain complex real-world problems in the same way that they train them to play games. Scientists at firms like DeepMind are already thinking about how AI can be used to help mitigate climate change and detect cancers, for example.
Musk wrote on Twitter: “Great work by OpenAI. Need the neural interface soon to enable human/AI symbiosis.”