Earlier this year, DeepMind’s AlphaStar AI resoundingly defeated professional StarCraft II players. The Alphabet division and Blizzard are now letting the public play matches against the AI agent.

StarCraft II is considered a “grand challenge” to determine how successful AI agents are at balancing multiple tasks in real time. Skills needed to win include Game theory, Imperfect information, Long term planning, Real time, and Large action space.

More players will now have the chance to face off against AlphaStar as part of “ongoing scientific research into artificial intelligence.” Several experimental versions of the DeepMind agent will play a “small number of games on the competitive ladder in Europe.”

If you would like the chance to help DeepMind with its research by matching against AlphaStar, you can opt in by clicking the “opt-in” button on the in-game pop-up window. You can alter your opt-in selection at any time by using the “DeepMind opt-in” button on the 1v1 Versus menu.

However, players will not be informed that they’re playing StarCraft against the AlphaStar AI. This ensures a “controlled test,” with DeepMind wanting the agent to “experience game play as close to a normal 1v1 ladder match as possible.”

AlphaStar will play anonymously during the series of blind trial matches as any of the three in-universe races (Terran, Zerg, or Protoss). These games will not be incorporated into AlphaStar’s training, with the system only learning from human replays and self-play.

AlphaStar will play a small number of games for scientific test purposes, though we will not be revealing exactly when or how often this will happen to ensure that games remain anonymous.

Replays of AlphaStar’s StarCraft II matches will be published by DeepMind in a peer-reviewed scientific paper on a later date.

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Abner Li

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