Elon Musk hails AI bot’s video game victory

USB stick
A security staff member at The International Dota 2 Championships holds up a plug-in USB stick for an AI bot programmed to play esports. Dota 2 master Dendi stands onstage in the background, waiting to do battle in Seattle. (OpenAI via YouTube)

The Dota 2 esports tournament in Seattle, known as The International, demonstrates how video games have become hugely popular team sports — and today alpha geek Elon Musk took the occasion to tout a different kind of team effort.

Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, is also a big supporter of OpenAI, a nonprofit research company aimed at boosting artificial intelligence architectures and applications that benefit humanity.

Today, OpenAI showed off an AI bot that vanquished Danylo “Dendi” Ishutin, one of the world’s top Dota 2 players, in a one-vs.-one demonstration match.

“OK, this guy is scary,” Ishutin said as he battled the bot’s minions. The crowd at KeyArena groaned when the bot crushed Ishutin’s game avatars.

Ishutin was beaten badly in the first match, forfeited a second match, and refused to play a third.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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