StarCraft 2 Players, Meet Your Google AI Overlords

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StarCraft 2 Players, Meet Your Google AI Overlords

AlphaStar will play in the latest version of StarCraft II, and will play either as or versus Terran, Zerg or Protoss. The initiative has been launched as part of ongoing research by DeepMind that will assess AlphaStar's performance for scientific objective.

"Having AlphaStar play anonymously helps ensure that it is a controlled test, so that the experimental versions of the agent experience gameplay as close to a normal 1v1 ladder match as possible", writes Blizzard in a FAQ on the upcoming blind test. Their limitations were defined with help from pro players and a win or a loss against won't affect your MMR any differently. The AI will play anonymously though, so you won't tell if you face it, "to help ensure that all games are played under the same conditions".

There's no guarantee that you will be placed in a ladder to compete against AlphaStar, and only a "small number of games" will be played in total. To ensure validity of the research, the AI will appear as a regular human player in order to ensure no one goes easy on it.

To verse AlphaStar, although you won't know you've played the AI until you watch the replays, you'll need to tick the DeepMind opt-in option on the 1v1 Versus menu. In December, the AI dominated a pair of top-ranked StarCraft players.

AlphaStar, an AI created by Google-owned DeepMind that plays StarCraft II, recently flexed its gaming muscles by absolutely destroying two professional human players in the strategy game.

Still, AlphaStar's prowess has come under scrutiny, not all of it good. (AlphaStar's game perception was similarly restricted to camera view when 26 year-old Polish gamer Grzegorz "MaNa" Komincz managed the only human victory during the last human vs StarCraft showdown.) DeepMind has also restricted AlphaStar's actions per minute (APM) and actions per second. Furthermore, it will only be able to perceive the map using a camera-like perspective. "All limits on AlphaStar's performance were designed in consultation with pro players".

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