One Good Way To Research AI? Build Bots That Play Video Games

Created with StarCraft

This Curiosity article has been sponsored by StarCraft.

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The annual AIIDE StarCraft AI Competition began in 2010, when it pitted 28 bots against each other in four styles of gameplay. The tournament also showcased a human vs. bot competition, and though the human-a professional gamer-did come out on top, the match was exciting nonetheless. As the competition states on its website, "The best human players still have the upper hand in RTS games, but in the years to come this will likely change, thanks to competitions like this one." AIs also compete against one another in the World Computer Chess Championship, and Nintendo has hosted Super Smash Brothers tournaments where only Amiibos (figurines with in-game avatars that can level up and "learn") were allowed to enter.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Expert-level StarCraft gameplay is exceedingly complex, presenting players with a large strategy space that has no dominant strategy. 00:35

  2. 28 teams submitted bots to play in the first AIIDE StarCraft AI Competition. 02:20

  3. The winner of the first AIIDE StarCraft AI Competition was a bot called Overmind from UC Berkeley. 03:30

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