- AlphaStar AI hits Grandmaster Rank in StarCraft II.
- Research group Deep Mind limited APM and camera interface to human levels.
- AlphaStar is now better at StarCraft II than 99.8% of human players.
Research group Deep Mind’s AlphaStar AI has reached Grandmaster rank in StarCraft II, the highest tier in the game. Only the best 200 StarCraft II players in each server region are attributed the rank, so it’s a pretty incredible feat.
It’s not the first step AlphaStar has hit the news for its StarCraft II prowess either. Back in January, the AI beat two StarCraft II professionals in a live exhibition match.
AI Plays StarCraft II With Human Constraints
Rather than gifting the AI with processing speeds light years beyond that of a humble human as we’ve seen with other AI gaming experiments, the researchers at Deep Mind leveled the playing field.
Deep Mind capped the frequency of AlphaStar’s actions to a human-level. In real terms, this meant the same camera interface as human players and constraining the AI to 22 actions for every five seconds of play, or an approximate APM (actions per minute) of 264. Professional player Dario ‘TLO’ Wünsch even vetted the constraints to mimic the real-world conditions as faithfully as possible.
Source: Deep Mind
As a consequence, AlphaStar had to depend on a strategic approach to winning the game instead of doing so by overpowering with sheer mechanical skill and speed. As a real-time strategy title utilizing an open-map, StarCraft II burdens players with near-infinite choices as they contend with countless decision-making crossroads.
To highlight, the point Deep Mind says of StarCraft II:
Players must use limited information to make dynamic and difficult decisions that have ramifications on multiple levels and timescales.