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Blizzard Hosts a Livestream with DeepMind on Thursday January 24

On Thursday, January 24th, starting at 6 pm GMT and for a full two hours, Blizzard will host a Livestream with DeepMind. The event will be broadcasted in real time on DeepMind’s YouTube channel, as well as on Twich on the official StarCraft II channel. This is a much anticipated event for players, as well as people fascinated by the progress of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The partnership between DeepMind and Blizzard began in 2017 and on Thursday, major updates are expected.

A Success Story that only Gets Better

DeepMind took on the challenge of learning the game, with the hope that one day it could outshining even StarCraft II pro-gamers. Many people had serious doubts about its ability to succeed, but the AI started from grassroots and made giant leaps forward. For researchers, the fact that videogames provide limitless training data helps them develop faster and more effective algorithms. Real-time strategy games in general and StarCraft in particular pose unique challenges that the AI must overcome.

The goal is to produce generalizable AI systems and in order to achieve this ambitious objective, DeepMind’s research programme must constantly evolve. The decision to choose StarCraft was based on the fact that the RTS game has been around for two decades and is still one of the most challenging game ever made. While this is not the first time that the academic community uses video games in general and StarCraft in particular to test their AI, this is the most important project of this type.


Image Credits: Blizzard Entertainment

What to expect from the Blizzard Livestream with DeepMind?

Blizzard chose not to share a great deal of information before the event, but those who watch it can expect to learn more about DeepMind’s groundbreaking work. StarCraft is a game that keeps evolving, so in recent years, the AI training process had to continue unabated. Since the beginning of the program back in 2017, significant progress has been made with game theory concepts. The AI is better adjusted to deal with the challenges of long-term planning and large action space, both inherent obstacles for any StarCraft player.

DeepMind is unlike any of the so-called AI bots that players compete against during the single player campaign. The latter are simply well scripted systems that act based on a predetermined set of rules, which strips away any ability to improvise and the dad. By contrast, DeepMind is true artificial intelligence, capable of learning from its mistakes and exploring new ways of achieving victory. It learns in a similar way as regular players and it controls the units on the battlefield just like a pro gamer would.

There are plenty of questions yet to be answered regarding the live stream with DeepMind hosted by Blizzard on Thursday. The best way to get these answers is by watching the stream live on YouTube or Twitch.

Watch live video from StarCraft on www.twitch.tv