Valve’s yearly international tournament for their game Dota 2 has always been a spectacle to watch. This year, there was a surprise element included – a self-learning Open AI Bot playing against the best Dota 2 players in the world. The bot was developed by OpenAI, a start-up that is backed by Elon Musk.

This is the first time that artificial intelligence has been used to play competitive e-sports.

The engineers from OpenAI have said that the bot learned by playing with professional players. And over a period of two weeks and has learnt “lifetimes” of Dota 2 gameplay. The bot learns from its mistakes quickly, and keeps making copies of itself until it perfects its game.

The Game

Dota 2 is a complex game which involves many factors. It is an online multiplayer game where a team of five people play against another team of five. Each player selects a hero, each hero has 4 to 6 abilities, there are items that do a specific thing, and levels and experience and so forth. It is not the simplest of games to master.

Elon Musk believes that people do not understand AI, and that AI represents a “fundamental risk to the existence of civilisation”.

Even though the bot has learnt only how to play one vs one, it has easily defeated the world’s best players. One of the stars of Dota 2, Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin got defeated by the bot twice and said that the bot “feels a little like a human, but a little like something else.” OpenAI wants to be able to build a bot that is so complex that it can interact with other bots and play a 5 vs 5 game in Dota 2.

This year’s Dota 2 International’s was the biggest e-sports event in history with the prize money of $25 million. Dota 2 has more than 15 million users and counting.

OpenAI is a venture by Elon Musk and is a nonprofit. He claims to have started it to prevent AI from taking over the world.

Pic credits: International Business Times

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Read more stories by Nikhita Sanotra