Sunday, February 26, 2017

MIT's 'Super Smash Bros.' AI can compete with veteran players

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Lead researcher Vlad Firoiu tells our TechCrunch colleagues that the SSBM AI is at once very calculating and knowingly reckless. It will sometimes turtle (that is, refuse to attack) until it’s sure there’s an opening, but it will just as readily leap off the stage when it sees an opportunity for a quick but relatively risky victory. And since this is AI, it has reflexes that humans can’t usually match.

This doesn’t mean that you’re going to see the neural network participating in formal competition, like you saw with Google’s DeepMind. It doesn’t know how to deal with projectiles (rendering it useless with many SSBM characters), and you can make it panic if you hide in the corner. However, this is a good demonstration of how deep learning AI can cope with new environments. It also suggests that game developers could use neural networks to provide a serious single-player challenge at the highest skill levels, giving pros a way to practice when similarly-ranked rivals aren’t available.

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