A team of programmers at a British artificial intelligence company has designed automated “agents” that taught themselves how to play a competitive first-person multiplayer video game shooter, and became so good they consistently beat human beings.
The work of the researchers from DeepMind, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, was described in a paper published in Science on Thursday and marks the first time the feat has ever been accomplished.
To be sure, computers have been flexing their dominance over humans in one-on-one turn-based games such as chess ever since IBM’s Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov in 1997. More recently, a GoogleAI agent beat the world’s number one Go player in 2017.
But the ability to play multiplayer games involving teamwork and interaction in complex environments had remained an insurmountable task.