The UK-based Google subsidiary, DeepMind, which brought big news to the AI & games world in 2016 with its bot AlphaGo defeating a world-class Go player, says they've done it again with AlphaStar, a bot that beat a high-level human player in the real-time strategy (RTS) game StarCraft II, previously considered to be a top-tier challenge.
I'm currently teaching an AI & Games special-topics course at American University, where I recently started in a new job. It's a seminar-style class where the first part of the course is largely based on jointly reading Julian Togelius's new book (so new, in fact, that it was officially published one day after our semester started), Playing Smart: On Games, Intelligence, and Artificial Intelligence.
The idea is that both I and the students bring some things to discuss to each class, within a framework broadly set by Togelius. But this AlphaStar news is pretty high-profile breaking news, at least as far as AI & games news goes. So I decided that we'd dedicate the next class or two to this event.
Some discussion that immediately ensued around the Google StarCraft bot: What does this show, does it show what it claims, and what does it mean for AI & Games, or AI in general?
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