August 10, 2017

"Starcraft II has been a target for Alphabet’s DeepMind AI research for a while now – the UK AI company took on Blizzard’s sci-fi strategy game starting last year, and announced plans to create an open AI research environment based on the game to make it possible for others to contribute to the effort of creating a virtual agent who can best the top human StarCraft players in the world."

tech crunch: Now, DeepMind and Blizzard are opening the doors to that environment, with new tools including a machine learning API, a large game replay dataset, an open source DeepMind toolset and more. by Darrell Etherington

'The new release of the StarCraft II API on the Blizzard side includes a Linux package made to be able to run in the cloud, as well as support for Windows and Mac. It also has support for offline AI vs. AI matches, and those anonymized game replays from actual human players for training up agents, which is starting out at 65,000 complete matches, and will grow to over 500,000 over the course of the next few weeks.

'StarCraft II is such a useful environment for AI research basically because of how complex and varied the games can be, with multiple open routes to victory for each individual match. Players also have to do many different things simultaneously, including managing and generating resources, as well as commanding military units and deploying defensive structures. Plus, not all information about the game board is available at once, meaning players have to make assumptions and predictions about what the opposition is up to.'

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