There’s hope for homo sapiens yet after humans beat a team of AI bots at the video game ‘Dota 2’

The International is a huge esports event.

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The International is a huge esports event.
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Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

  • A team of human pro gamers have beaten a team of AI bots created by an AI company cofounded by Elon Musk.
  • The team of bots have previously consistently defeated non-professional players at the game.
  • The bots still have the chance to steal victory in the next two matches.

When AI research company’s OpenAI’s team of bots first defeated a teams of puny humans at the video game Dota 2 in June, Bill Gates hailed it as a “milestone.” However, when pitched against professional players, the bots were defeated – at least in an initial match.

We first saw the news via The Verge.

OpenAI, which was cofounded by the famously AI-fearful Elon Musk, created the five neural networks called OpenAI Five with the intention of building an AI which could learn to cooperate with each other and defeat human players. The AI trains itself by playing 180 years’ worth of games against itself every day.

On Wednesday the bots put this training to the test, playing against a professional South American team called paiN Gaming at the esports event The International in Vancouver. The match lasted 51 minutes and was by all accounts tense.

AI researcher Mike Cook commented on Twitter that while the bots seemed good at moment-to-moment decision-making, they had trouble with larger strategic decisions.

The Verge reports that one key mistake made by the bots was fixating on a non-player neutral character named Roshan, who can be killed for big rewards. The bots focussing their efforts on him left their home territory vulnerable to attack from the human players.

Mike Cook also observed that the bots differed from human players in that they were more willing to sacrifice their team-mates where beneficial.

OpenAI’s cofounder and CTO Greg Brockman praised both team’s performances in a tweet.

There are still two matches to go on Thursday and Friday, and the bots could still snatch the victory. OpenAI declined to comment on how it thought the bots might fare.