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OpenAI teaching neural networks to compete with Dota 2 professionals

Team of five neural networks has already beaten multiple amateur human teams

Last year, OpenAI created a bot that could defeat the best Dota 2 players in the world at 1v1 matches. Now, it wants to take that a step further via a team of five neural networks called the OpenAI Five.

Non-profit AI research company OpenAI has been teaching five neural networks to play Dota 2 by having them play 180 years of games per day. These training matches are undertaken via a more complex version of the system used to train a single AI to beat top player Dendi at The International in 2017. Already, the five AI can defeat amateur players (including a team of Valve employees), and will soon be competing professionally.

The AI will be playing in a match against top human players at The International in August. Currently, the OpenAI Five is winning against amateurs and semi-pro teams with restrictions in place, but OpenAI hopes those restrictions can be mostly removed for the August match with a limitation only on which heroes can be used.

"Our underlying motivation reaches beyond Dota," the OpenAI team said in an official blog post. "Real-world AI deployments will need to deal with the challenges raised by Dota which are not reflected in Chess, Go, Atari games, or Mujoco benchmark tasks. Ultimately, we will measure the success of our Dota system in its application to real-world tasks."

OpenAI's research and observation of the bot has some interesting insights on how game strategy can develop, including determining a current top strategy on its own that took the Dota 2 community years to develop.

Open AI Five's match at The International will take place August 20-25. A live broadcast match, also against human Dota 2 pros, will be broadcast live on Twitch on July 28.

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Rebekah Valentine

Senior Staff Writer

Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.