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AI agents developed by Google’s DeepMind subsidiary have beaten human pros at Starcraft II — a first in the world of artificial intelligence. In a series of matches streamed on YouTube and Twitch, AI players beat the humans 10 games in a row. In the final match, pro player Grzegorz “MaNa” Komincz was able to snatch a single victory for humanity.

“The history of AI has been marked by a number of significant benchmark victories in different games,” David Silver, DeepMind’s research co-lead, said after the matches. “And I hope — though there’s clearly work to do — that people in the future may look back at [today] and perhaps consider this as another step forward for what AI systems can do.”

Beating humans at video games might seem like a sideshow in AI development, but it’s a significant research challenge. Games like Starcraft II are harder for computers to play than board games like chess or Go. In video games, AI agents can’t watch the movement of every piece to calculate their next move, and they have to react in real time.

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