OpenAI Five, the Dota 2 team powered by the AI from research group OpenAI, has defeated a team of professionals. The AI used aggressive tactics aimed at short-term gains, but that didn’t do the AI any harm.
OpenAI Five played in the San Francisco Open AI Five Finals against the professional team OG in a best-of-3. The mode was Captain’s Draft, where teams can stipulate that certain heroes may not be used and teams can take turns choosing heroes. OpenAI Five also disabled summoning and illusions, as this introduces variables that AI can’t handle yet, but also simplifies the game for the human players. The AI can only handle eighteen of the 115 heroes.
Despite the game mode simplifying the game, Dota 2 is complicated. In addition to more than a hundred heroes, the game also has variables such as abilities, mobs, buildings, lanes, items and an entire in-game economy based on a player’s performance. Playing Dota 2 professionally is serious business; more than $25 million in prize money was given away in 2018 at The International, the official Dota 2 tournament.
OpenAI Five took an aggressive approach. It is known from artificial intelligence that it has no preference for strategies that only yield results in the longer term. For example, OpenAI Five chose to immediately return dead heroes for a fee, even though human players almost always choose to spend their money on other things early in a match. The tactics gave OpenAI Five the upper hand and although the first match lasted half an hour, the AI took the win. In the second match, OpenAI Five was even more aggressive, winning it in twenty minutes. With that, the AI team had signed off won.
OpenAI’s five bots are all controlled by layers of AI, based on its reinforcement learning system. That is, the AI was not taught to play the game, but through trial & error, which it has done for 45,000 years to date, it has learned which actions lead to an improvement in its stats. The AI can play 180 years of games a day, Venturebeat writes in a detailed explanation.
The AI is developing rapidly. OpenAI Five lost to a professional Dota 2 team last year, but already managed to beat a semi-professional team by then. In 1-on-1 matches, the AI has been able to beat a professional opponent for two years now. Earlier this year, OpenAI competitor Alphastar defeated a professional in a game of StarCraft II, which means it is also making considerable progress.
This is the last exhibition match of OpenAI Five for the time being. The developers are now inviting the internet to play online with or against OpenAI Five, individually or in a team, in Dota 2. Interested parties can register until April 18.