Developed by DeepMind, the system is ranked above the 99.8 percentile of active players on Battle.net, the official game server of StarCraft II.
UK-based DeepMind, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc., previously developed systems capable of playing chess, Go, and shogi at a superhuman level, but StarCraft II presented an entirely different set of challenges.
Released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2010, StarCraft II is a science fiction-themed real-time strategy video game in which two players compete against each other.
Gamers can choose to play as one of three alien species – Terrans, Protoss, and Zerg – each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies.
“I’ve found AlphaStar’s gameplay incredibly impressive – the system is very skilled at assessing its strategic position, and knows exactly when to engage or disengage with its opponent.”
StarCraft II has attracted the interest of AI researchers owing to its complex and open-ended gameplay.