Video games have become a favourite tool for AI researchers to test the abilities of their systems. In this episode, Hannah sits down to play StarCraft II - a challenging video game that requires players to control the onscreen action with as many as 800 clicks a minute.
She is guided by Oriol Vinyals, an ex-professional StarCraft player and research scientist at DeepMind, who explains how the program AlphaStar learnt to play the game and beat a top professional player. Elsewhere, she explores systems that are learning to cooperate in a digital version of the playground favourite ‘Capture the Flag’.
Interviewees: Research scientists Max Jaderberg and Raia Hadsell; Lead researchers David Silver and Oriol Vinyals, and Director of Research Koray Kavukcuoglu.
Life is like a game
Find out more about the themes in this episode:
- The Economist: Why AI researchers like video games
- DeepMind blogs: Capture the Flag and Alphastar
- Professional StarCraft II player MaNa gives his impressions of AlphaStar and DeepMind
- Open AI’s work on Dota 2
- The New York Times: DeepMind can now beat us at multiplayer games, too
- Royal Society: Machine Learning resources
- DeepMind: The Inside Story of AlphaStar
- Andrej Karpathy: Deep Reinforcement Learning: Pong from Pixels
If you know of other resources we should link to, please help other listeners by either replying to us on Twitter (#DMpodcast) or emailing us at email@example.com. You can also use that address to send us questions or feedback on the series.
Presenter: Hannah Fry
Editor: David Prest
Senior Producer: Louisa Field
Producers: Amy Racs, Dan Hardoon
Binaural Sound: Lucinda Mason-Brown
Music composition: Eleni Shaw (with help from Sander Dieleman and WaveNet)