Google AI beats experienced human players at StarCraft II

An artificial intelligence (AI) known as AlphaStar — which was built by Google’s AI firm DeepMind — achieved a grandmaster rating after it was unleashed on the game’s European servers, placing within the top 0.15% of the region’s 90,000 players.

StarCraft II’s complexity poses immense challenges to AIs. Unlike chess, StarCraft II has hundreds of ‘pieces’ — soldiers in the factions’ armies — that move simultaneously in real time, not in an orderly, turn-based fashion. Whereas a chess piece has a limited number of legal moves, AlphaStar has 1026 actions to choose from at any moment. And StarCraft II, unlike chess, is a game of imperfect information — players often cannot see what their opponent is doing. This makes it unpredictable.

Read article in “Nature“.