In 2015, Google set its artificially intelligent program DeepMind to play a game of Go, the ancient Chinese board game. That two-player game — which is like a mix of chess and checkers, sort of — is relatively simple to learn and features only a handful of possible actions.
DeepMind beat the European Go champion, Fan Hui, five games in a row with no handicap on a full-sized board.
Later, a new version of the DeepMind system bested its own previous Go-playing algorithm in 100 straight games, losing zero. It was then clear that DeepMind had mastered Go.
Now, Google has its sights set on an entirely different game: the 2010 real-time strategy video game StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Today, DeepMind’s gameplay will be live-streamed on YouTube and Twitch for the world to watch.
The stream begins today, January 24, 2019, at 1:00 PM EST (10:00 AM PST or 6:00 PM GMT).
StarCraft II is a very complicated game for an AI system to learn. Unlike Go, there are over 300 possible actions the AI can make at any given time, including moving characters, selecting items, opening menus, etc. Plus, the gameplay is non-linear so DeepMind needs to formulate its own objectives and think about how each action will affect the long-term in order to win.
It’s anyone’s guess how well DeepMind will do during the live-stream. However, according to this DeepMind synopsis, the AI has so far been unable to win even a single game. As such, it might be that this live-stream is more of an interesting look into the development of the AI rather than an example of how it has now mastered StarCraft.
Click the link below to watch the stream on YouTube at 1:00 PM EST.