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Google DeepMind to Use Blizzard's StartCraft II for AI Research Platform

Nov 07, 2016 04:56 AM EST
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Google's DeepMind has already mastered the game of Go and will now focus on an entirely unique game: StarCraft II.

At the 2016 Blizzcon event, Blizzard announced that it will be partnering with Google to use StarCraft II as a research platform for companies building artificial intelligence (AI) programmers. According to Orio Vinyals, a scientist at Google DeepMind, Blizzard will launch an API in the early part of 2017 that will enable hobbyists and researchers around the world to create and train their own AI agents to participate in StarCraft II.

Blizzard wants to provide an opportunity to companies to make their own AI bot with the help of the forthcoming API instead of Google building its own boisterous StarCraft II machine. This framework essentially acts as a testing ground for creating and training AIs and could result in improved AI in StarCraft II itself, said Vinyals. He added that this development could lead to expert AI player coaches or an invincible AI bot.

In a blog post confirming the partnership, Google DeepMind stated that the intricacy of StarCraft II makes it a handy bridge to take care of the slovenliness of the real world. The effects could go far beyond the game and the improvements made in StarCraft might assist the company in applying them to the challenges in the real world, said Vinyals.

Google and Blizzard are also working on building "curriculum scenarios," which consists of a ladder of complex and difficult tasks so that AI researchers of all levels can get their systems running. Of course, what the two finds from this joint venture remain to be seen. However, games  have proved to be awesome AI trainers. Keeping that in mind, some major AI improvements are expected to be seen but might take some time, the DeepMind team said on its blog.

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