DeepMind and Blizzard open StarCraft II as an AI research environment

DeepMind’s scientific mission is to push the boundaries of AI by developing systems that can learn to solve complex problems. To do this, we design agents and test their ability in a wide range of environments from the purpose-built DeepMind Lab to established games, such as Atari and Go.Testing our agents in games that are not specifically designed for AI research, and where humans play well, is crucial to benchmark agent performance. That is why we, along with our partner Blizzard Entertainment, are excited to announce the release of SC2LE, a set of tools that we hope will accelerate AI research in the real-time strategy game StarCraft II. The SC2LE release includes:A Machine Learning API developedby Blizzard that gives researchers and developers hooks into the game. This includes the release of tools for Linux for the first time.Adataset of anonymised game replays, which will increase from 65k to more than half a million in the coming weeks.An open source version of DeepMinds toolset, PySC2, to allow researchers to easily use Blizzards feature-layer API with their agents.A series of simple RL mini-games to allow researchers to test the performance of agents on specific tasks.A joint paperthat outlines the environment, and reports initial baseline results on the mini-games, supervised learning from replays, and the full 1v1 ladder game against the built-in AI.

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