Google’s DeepMind A.I. and Blizzard announced a collaboration to open up StarCraft II to AI researchers around the world Friday at BlizzCon 2016. DeepMind has already successfully learned games like chess and Go, even beating the world’s top Go player at the Google DeepMind Challenge last year. However, learning StarCraft II will give DeepMind’s artificial intelligence a new set of challenges. Unlike chess or Go, both players are playing simultaneously and must recall information while acting in real-time to ever-changing variables.
The partnership will allow AI researchers to develop and test new machine learning technologies in the StarCraft II environment. In a blog post on the new collaboration, DeepMind writes “StarCraft is an interesting testing environment for current AI research because it provides a useful bridge to the messiness of the real-world. The skills required for an agent to progress through the environment and play StarCraft well could ultimately transfer to real-world tasks.” According to the blog, the testing platform will be available to all researches next year.