Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Starcraft the Latest Frontier in Artificial Intelligence?

Gizmodo has an interesting piece up about a Starcraft tournament unlike any other: one in which every competitor is not a seclusive Korean 18-year-old, but in fact a computer. Apparently, according to AI researchers, Starcraft presents an interesting and unique challenge:

"Chess is hard because you need to look very far into the future. Poker's hard because it's a game of imperfect information. Other games are hard because you have to make decisions very quickly. StarCraft is hard in all of these ways," explains Dan Klein, an AI researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and adviser to one of the tournament teams.
"An AI bot has to interact, reason about multiple goals concurrently, act in real time, deal with imperfect information - a lot of the properties of building robust intelligence are there," says tournament organiser Ben Weber, a graduate student at the Expressive Intelligence Studio at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

 Fortunately, so far the AI seems incapable of defeating an expert human player. But for how long??

Anyway, the full article makes for quite an interesting read. Check it over at Gizmodo.


  1. Chris Maire said...
    I donno man...it seems pretty predictable to me. That said, I haven't played against the Expert bots. I can beat Hard sorta-kinda easily as Zerg though. But they seem to follow a pattern of when they attack and what unit compositions they use.

    I remember before I preordered and started playing beta I was using one of those totally illegal "unofficial" AIs. I forget the name now, but there were a couple (StarCrack? Ghost-Something?) some of which were insanely hard, even when they weren't cheating.

    Note: I don't endorse cracking Starcraft 2 or using non-Blizzard AIs. Just buy the game and play ladder matches, seriously.

  2. Also this sounds related to http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/11/02/genetic-algorithms-find-build-order-from-hell/#more-43062 but probably actually isn't? Anyway, go read that.