Musk-Funded OpenAI Creates Bots That Defeat DOTA 2 Pros

OpenAI, an AI startup funded by Elon Musk, has created a general-purpose AI that has been trained to play Valve's popular eSports game Defense of the Ancients 2 so well that the program, duplicated across 5 playing bots, managed to best a team of current and former pro players. There were a few restrictions on the match to accommodate the bots' limited scope of learning, but the same restrictions were placed on both teams. The biggest one was that only 18 of the game's 200-plus roster of heroes would be available, since those are the ones that the bots have trained with. Even so, the bots managing to beat a team of human pros is remarkable, and it will be even more remarkable if the bots manage to make any progress at Valve's official International DOTA 2 Tournament, which is where OpenAI will be taking them next.

The entire match is up on Twitch for all to see, and it's easy to see how the bots won. They are so well-coordinated and focused on teamwork that it was nearly impossible for any of the human players to single a bot out. They also divided up their focus among different tasks in a balanced manner, ensuring that their stronghold was never left unguarded for too long and they never ran completely out of resources. Some of the other restrictions on the match included a ban on summons and illusions, a ban on the Scan ability, and the addition of 5 invulnerable courier characters to the arena, who players and bots alike were banned from exploiting for EXP or resources.

Interestingly, OpenAI notes that it actually crippled the bots in one way during their training; the bots had an inhumanly fast reaction time of only 80 milliseconds, so they were nerfed to a more mortal-friendly 200 milliseconds. Many of the restrictions placed on this exhibition match will likely not fly during the official tournament, and there will almost certainly be swaths of better players on hand. This means that the bots have a lot of training to do leading up to the start of the tournament on August 20. This isn't the first time that a bot has bested a human at a game of infinite choices and possibilities, and it almost certainly won't be the last, given the vast and steady march of artificial intelligence.

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