A bot just defeated one of the world'south best video gamers

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Source:   —  August 12, 2017, at 5:36 PM

An artificial intelligence program just annihilated its human contest at a world championship video game contest.

A bot just defeated one of the world'south best video gamers

An artificial intelligence program just annihilated its human contest at a world championship video game contest.

The AI win stunned the gaming community, because bots are generally considered inferior to expert human players.

This one from Open AI -- a nonprofit artificial intelligence research firm known mainly for its backing by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, of Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX fame -- is a different story, and possibly a cautionary one.

Open AI says its mission is to promote "responsible" AI development.

Or, as Musk puts it, to ensure that AI doesn't grow unchecked and become the death of humanity.

Musk said Saturday via Twitter that AI is "more [of a] risk than North Korea."

To test out some harmless uses for AI, one Open AI team taught a bot to play Dota two.

Dota two, for those unfamiliar, is an online multi-player battle game. It works kind of love a complex virtual version of capture the flag. Teams of players utilize powerful characters, called "heroes," to battle each other. The game ends when one team has taken down a structure, called an "Ancient," in the opposing team'south residence base.

Greg Brockman, Open AI co-founder and chief technology officer, explained the team'south methods in a YouTube video posted Friday.

"Our bot is trained entirely through self play. It starts out totally random with number information of the world, and simply plays against a duplicate of itself -- which means it always has an evenly matched opponent," Brockman said.

The bot kept playing until its skill level reached that of the world'south best Dota two players, he added.

Then, Brockman said, it was time to keep the bot to the test at The International, which is Dota two'south world championship. The tournament kicked off in Seattle on August seven, with a $10.7 million grand prize up for grabs.

On Friday, the bot entered a best-of-five series with Danil Ishutin, a professional Dota two player from Ukraine who goes by the title Dendi. Because this was a side attraction, the bot wasn't eligible for prize money.

Related: Elon Musk and tech heavies invest $1 billion in artificial intelligence

(Dota two games are typically played between teams of five, but the organizers of The International decided to switch it up for the bot's match.)

Before the battle kicked off, Dendi greeted the screaming crowd at Seattle Center'south Keyarena, where the contest was hosted, wearing a hooded white robe and playfully boxing the air.

Moments later, Open AI'south bot was introduced as a pizza-box-sized robot draped in a silky black robe. It was flanked by burly bodyguards wearing all black, who proceeded to hook up the bot to a computer.

A video introduction for the bot showed various (human) Dota two players sharing their opinions on bots.

"They're beautiful awful," one player said.

But when the game kicked off, it became clear Open AI'south bot was a different beast.

It bested Dendi -- who'south somewhat of a celebrity in the gaming community -- in two brief rounds. And rather than attempt a third round, Dendi surrendered.

"He'south too strong," Dendi said with a smile, referring to the bot. "I necessity more time [to practice] I guess."

Dendi later elaborated on Twitter that he found the bot "fun" and "challenging" to play against.

"I'm sure it's possible to beat it. But it's number room for even slight mistakes," he wrote.

This isn't the first time a bot has made waves in the gaming world. Earlier this year, an AI built by Microsoft beat every level of the Ms. Pac-Man game -- something number human player has ever achieved.

Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) also played a role in the bot'south Dota two win on Friday. Musk thanked the company via Twitter for allowing Open AI to utilize the Microsoft Azure crowd computing platform to expand the bot.

"Would love to express our appreciation to Microsoft for utilize of their Azure cloud computing platform," he wrote. "This required massive processing power."

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