How AlphaStar Became a StarCraft Grandmaster

2020-02-13 Tommy Thompson

One of the biggest headlines in AI research for 2019 was the unveiling of AlphaStar – Google DeepMind’s project to create the worlds best player of Blizzard’s real-time strategy game StarCraft II.  After shocking the world in January as the system defeated two high ranking players in closed competition, an updated version was revealed in November that had achieved grandmaster status: ranking among the top 0.15% in Europe’s 90,000 active players.  So let’s look at how AlphaStar works, the underpinning technology and theory that drives it, the truth behind the media sensationalism and how it achieved grandmaster rank in online multiplayer.

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