Artificial Intelligence is flourishing. And though the robots we speak to, like Siri and Alexa, were all built for specific tasks like playing music or telling you about traffic conditions, now they're going up against the best video gamers in the world.
The holy grail of artificial intelligence research is the creation of what's called a "general intelligence." An AI with general intelligence could learn and perform any new task just like a human.
Researchers at OpenAI, a nonprofit funded by Silicon Valley rockstars like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, believe video games are the unconventional path to general intelligence — specifically a game called Dota 2.
OpenAI thinks that if it could train an AI to play Dota 2, it could lay the groundwork for an AI that could be applied to many different problems.
"For example, in chess you have a big search, and you just look through more moves than a human could possibly ponder,” Greg Brockman, CTO and Co-Founder of Open AI told VICE News. “But as you start to get into something like Dota, where it's this continuous world and that there's millions of variables, you just can't hope to look through more positions. And so you need to have something that looks a lot more like human intuition.”
OpenAI ultimately lost all of its matches against professional teams. The AI made some really bizarre decisions that the developers could have programed it not to do. But if they did that, it wouldn’t really be AI, since this AI teaches itself to play the game through trial and error.
Five months ago, the bot couldn’t beat a team of five random people pulled off the street, but now, their bot beats players ranked in the 99.95% percentile. Open AI says it will be returning to the pro-gaming scene next year and attempt to defeat the world champions.
This segment originally aired September 18, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.