Elon Musk, noted artificial intelligence worrywart, backs the tech firm behind a robot brain that was smart enough to take down a Dota 2 pro this week.
The showdown took the form of an exhibition match staged on Friday at The International 2017, an annual esports tournament. OpenAI’s Dota 2 bot faced off in a series of 1v1 matches against Danil “Dendi” Ishutin, a member of the top-tier team Natus Vincere (Na’Vi) since 2015.
It wasn’t even close.
The AI raced its way to two dominant victories before the exhibition ended. It was supposed to be a best-of-five series, but Dendi didn’t wait that long to admit defeat.
“I’m giving up,” he said with a faint smile before the final moments of the second match had fully played out. “I don’t think I’m getting it back. It’s over.”
Dendi later admitted that while the AI competitor felt distinctly human in the way it played, “at the same time, it’s something else.”
It’s important to note that 1v1 matches operate a little differently than the team-based fights in which Dendi normally participates. Though there’s a flip-side to that: OpenAI’s bot picked up enough knowledge about Dota 2 to best the game’s built-in AI after one hour.
Its debut at The International 2017? That came after two weeks of non-stop training. Compare that to Dendi’s years of experience against a variety of players and skill levels in live competitions.
OpenAI robo-brain clearly came out of the exhibition looking like the stronger player, but the tech company isn’t quite finished. An accompanying video notes that the bot is still a work-in-progress. The goal is to eventually assemble a full team of AI bots for 5v5 matches and, further down the road, to mix AI players in with human players on a single team.
As you weigh all of this, remember again: Elon Musk, AI fearmonger extraordinaire, is an OpenAI founder.
OpenAI first ever to defeat world’s best players in competitive eSports. Vastly more complex than traditional board games like chess & Go.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 12, 2017
Teaching a robot brain to play battle-oriented strategy games… what could go wrong?