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Computer program AlphaStar reaches professional level in video game StarCraft II

For the first time, a computer can compete with the very best human players in StarCraft II, a video game played by tens of thousands at a professional level and by millions just for fun. Mike Preuss, university lecturer at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) responds to the achievement of AlphaStar in NRC.

Almost better than professionals

Computer program AlphaStar, a creation by London-based AI company DeepMind, performs better than 99.8 percent of the players who have an official StarCraft ranking in all three different races of StarCraft II. Never before has artificial intelligence reached such a high level in a professional e-sport. Although AlphaStar is world class, it's not yet superhuman like computers in checkers, chess and go.

"It's amazing what DeepMind has achieved with AlphaStar", mails Mike Preuss. "StarCraft is known as a very difficult AI challenge, where computers did not come close to the level of professional players for years.

Read the full article in NRC (in Dutch).

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