What do you do when your fancy AI has proven it’s capable of learning and conquering the champions of some of the most difficult board games in history? You move to StarCraft, obviously.
Google engineer Jeff Dean, according to a TeamLiquid translation, openly suggested StarCraft as the next frontier for the corporation’s all-conquering bot. Dean didn’t suggest whether any limitations would be placed on AlphaGo’s capabilities, according to a rough translation of the article, although a future match between a former or current Brood War professional would make for entertaining viewing.
Seoul Broadcasting System even interviewed retired StarCraft legend Lee “Flash” Young Ho about a potential match against AlphaGo, where he reportedly suggested he could win.
Go, after all, doesn’t have elements such as fog of war, defender’s advantage (at least in Brood War) or the ability for theoretically inefficient strategies that evolve into something more through positioning and clever micro.
But how well AlphaGo can do will depend on its ability to learn. Right now, the ability of most StarCraft bots is surprisingly minimal because they can’t respond or adapt on the fly as well as an actual human can.
AlphaGo, however, is supposedly better because of its deep neural networks and advanced tree search. It’ll be fun to see how it holds up if Google ever throws it at StarCraft; I wonder if they’ll consult the existing StarCraft AI community for help with coding.