The man defeated AI in Starcraft 4-0

Artificial intelligence (its weak form) is gradually becoming more and more skillful. The computer successfully solves even those tasks that only a few years ago were considered accessible for understanding only to humans. One example is a game where only one who has a well developed intuition and logical thinking can become a champion. Go for a car was considered an unattainable "ceiling". Now we see that there are no more people on Earth capable of winning a car.

It is clear that AI does not only play go, the range of tasks is much wider. Nevertheless, specialists from different IT fields try to train a computer to fight on an equal footing with a person and in computer games in order to test the capabilities of their software platforms. In this case, the person and the bot are in the same conditions. Usually, opponents push their heads on the strategy map with the “fog of war” , so both opponents do not know which objects are located on this map (in normal conditions, the game AI knows where it is). It was in such conditions that a man defeated a car in StarCraft.

This is a professional StarCraft player Son Byung-gu (Song Byung-gu) with four different StarCraft bots. One of them, CherryPi, was developed by Facebook. Other bots are created by companies from Australia, Norway and Korea.

The game was held at Sejong University, Seoul, Korea. Since 2010, StarCraft competitions are held here with the participation of people and cars. The event is supported by various organizations (both commercially and research and public). Specifically, this competition was supported, in particular, by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

It is clear that matches on go and StarCraft cannot be compared. In the first case, the player sees the entire board and he needs to find a winning strategy. In the case of StarCraft, you also need a winning strategy, but here you have to keep in mind many objects on the map, have a good reaction and be able to act suddenly, unpredictably. Understanding all this, the AI ​​developers decided to use the StarCraft environment to train the machine.

Famous StarCraft players have previously stated that they would very much like to fight a computer opponent. Companies that work in the field of AI, for example, DeepMind, welcomed this desire, stating their intention to hold similar competitions in the future.

And this future has come - people were able to fight with AI. The computer did not work out - the man won all four bots in 27 minutes in the overall standings. The maximum match duration was 10 minutes and 30 seconds. The shortest match lasted 4 and a half minutes. And this is despite the fact that bots per unit of time performed much more actions than people. For example, a system created by Norwegian experts is capable of performing 19,000 actions per minute. Cyber ​​champions from the human world are at best capable of performing several hundred moves-actions per minute.


Son stated that bots do not act in the same way as humans, their style of play is markedly different. “We, professional players, start the battle only when we have a chance to win with our army and other elements,” he said. People start a fight when they are confident in their abilities. But the bots with which Son fought, for some reason, sought to keep their units alive, without taking particularly bold decisions. According to cybersportsman, the only thing that distinguishes bots from people in the game is organization. In particular, the bots controlled the crowd of their units very skillfully, trying to protect themselves from the attacks of Sona.

According to Kim Kyung-Jung, the organizer of the competition, bots who competed with a person simply did not have enough experience. Their matches were too few. For example, AlphaGo played tens of thousands of matches, both with human opponents and with their own copies, before learning how to play at a high level. But bots playing StarCraft had no such opportunity.

However, this situation will soon change. Back in August, DeepMind and Blizzard Entertainment announced StarCraft II compatible AI tools. At the moment, it is this version of the game that is most popular among cybersportsmen. Some experts believe that the AI ​​will soon “carry out” the person in the same way as it happened in go. “Once bots are equipped with high-level decision-making systems, like AlphaGo, people can no longer win,” said Jung Han-min from the University of Science and Technology, Korea.

The representative of Facebook, engaged in the development of CherryPi, said that the company has long wanted to see how the AI ​​will fight against the esportsman. After the match, Facebook received a huge amount of useful information that will be used to improve the bot.


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