If you want to see where human-machine competition is fiercest, look to games. Complex, rules-based games present the ideal environment to train AI systems, where the industry's top startups compete against the world's best players.

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The Basics

Games have been an AI proving ground since the 1960s, when early bots competed with humans in checkers.

Today, leading AI startups train their technology on some of world's the most competitive and complicated video games, including Starcraft II and Dota 2.

Often, the training culminates in a real match against top players. Google DeepMind and OpenAI have both competed with human eSports champs.

Below are several high profile events:

  • OpenAI's OpenAI Five: OpenAI's AI system beat the world's top players at Dota 2 in April, 2019.
  • Google DeepMind's AlphaStar: Starcraft II is a real-time strategy game. In December, 2018, DeepMind's AlphaStar program beat a top-25 Starcraft II player.

Relevant People

Demis Hassabis is cofounder of the AI startup DeepMind

Lee Sedol is known as "The Strong Stone," and is the only human to have defeated AlphaGo in Go, the ancient and difficult board game

Go deeper

The OpenAI Five: video game bots that beat the world's best Dota 2 players

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Reinforcement learning: how computers learn from experience

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