AI might need some lessons in Mathematics (talking about you, Google's DeepMind) but it has mastered the art of nailing video games.
Yes, OpenAI Five, a product by Elon Musk's non-profit AI research organization, has smashed a professional team of five Dota 2 players.
The world champion team gave tough competition but ultimately ended on the losing side in the best-of-three challenge against the OpenAI system.
OpenAI has been training bots to play Dota 2
For years, OpenAI has been using reinforcement learning to train its AI bots in Dota 2.
The idea was to train the machine, but instead of feeding random data into the system, OpenAI researchers dropped the bots in a game environment and took a trial and error approach.
This, combined with certain incentives, trained the system to play the game and improve its performance.
How the game panned out
In the game, played in Captain's Draft mode, OpenAI Five employed aggressive techniques by learning their opposition's moves as well as by capping their heroes.
Each team had to pick from 17 characters, so the AI banned certain characters to prevent its opponent from selecting them.
Then, it played and destroyed the pros' "ancient" tower to win the first rounds of the competition.
First round took nearly 40 minutes, second half
The AI took nearly 40 minutes to win the first round, but then, in the second round, it merely took half of it. It even employed unusual techniques like reviving dead heroes early on in the game and taking full advantage of their skills.
This is OpenAI's best performance so far
OpenAI's bots have defeated professional players in the past, most recently in August, but this is its best performance by far, The Verge reports.
Not to mention, Dota 2 is a very complex strategy game with 100s of characters and variables.
If an AI can beat humans here, it can theoretically use the same techniques in other games and fields too.
What the teams have to do in Dota 2
Dota 2, as we said, makes one of the most complex strategy games online.
You define characters and skills and then try to use a team of 'heroes' to destroy a large structure called 'Ancient' protected by the enemy.
The player has to destroy smaller towers in the enemy's territory to destroy ancient while protecting their own towers and ancient.