Demis Hassabis, cofounder of Google-owned firm DeepMind, and Jeff Dean, who leads the Google Brain project, have both hinted that StarCraft will be their next target, while Facebook researchers have just released an open-source platform designed to help people develop AI to play the game.
Succeeding in StarCraft would be a show of strategic strength. AI’s gaming prowess reached new heights in March when DeepMind’s AlphaGo system defeated one of the world’s best Go players, Lee Sedol. The AI’s ability to win at Go was particularly impressive owing to the complexity of the ancient Chinese game. There are more possible moves in Go than there are atoms in the universe, so AlphaGo couldn’t work out its strategy simply by “solving” the game.