How Dota 2 Bot Walked So OpenAI’s ChatGPT Could Run
ChatGPT’s popularity skyrocketed as soon as it was launched due to its speed, efficiency, and really complex and sophisticated AI technology that can be useful to almost anyone in this world. This OpenAI child can write essays, resumes, code, jokes, and poems, explain complex topics, or even give advice. Of course, these aren’t always ideal and it would often take a couple of tries before you get a good answer from it, but even with those drawbacks, ChatGPT is one of the most amazing technology tools we’ve seen.
A less-known fact about ChatGPT is that some time ago it had a younger brother who was a gamer. From 2016 to 2019 OpenAI had a project called OpenAI Five where they developed a bot that learned how to play the popular MOBA Dota 2.
OpenAI Five vs Professional Dota 2 Players
The crew behind OpenAI Five created a self-learning Dota 2 bot that would improve over the years and even played against some of the world’s best players. However, they didn’t create it just to be cute and play Dota 2. As developers mention on their website, OpenAI Five was created as “a research platform for general-purpose AI systems”. We can interpret this as Dota 2 bot being a playground on which future ChatGPT practiced.
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In 2017, during the biggest Dota 2 event – The International (TI), OpenAI Five played 1v1 against some of the best players of that time including Arteezy, Sumail, and Dendi. The match with Dendi, one of the most popular mid-laners in Dota 2 history was taken on the main stage in front of a live audience. The result was pretty stark as OpenAI had beaten all of the professional players in a 1v1 matchup.
Even though later on weak spots were found on the bot and some players managed to win 1v1, the OpenAI Five kept an incredibly high win rate. It continued to learn and improve with time and as one of the developers said, they didn’t program it to learn certain rules and moves. They just let it play thousands and thousands of matches against itself.
I remember watching this live with my friends back then and commenting on it. The weirdest thing for us wasn’t that bot was able to farm creeps effectively or make perfect decisions in whether it should man up vs a player or retreat. This was just math where it did advanced calculations and acted upon them.
Instead, we believed that its most advanced thing was that it could do fake attacks. The bot would regularly fake spell casting or fake-attack the pros so that they would fall back, and this is the kind of thing that probably no one expected and most of the players were impressed by.
OpenAI then decided to try and beat teams now. The first matchups came in 2018 when it had partial success. In a limited pool of heroes, the OpenAI Five would win some of the matchups but it was obvious it wasn’t a serious threat in a 5v5 team play environment. Even Bill Gates tweeted about this back in 2018:
However, in 2019 OpenAI Five played against professionals again, and in a Karate Kid-style comeback, it won back-to-back games vs TI champions, team OG. So the team behind OpenAI, Dota 2 bot’s own Mr. Miyagi, became the first ever to create an AI that managed to triumph against world champions in any esports game. If you ask me, this milestone should be shoulder-to-shoulder with the 1997 win of AI called Deep Blue against chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov in a six-game showdown.
Gamers Knew What was Coming
OpenAI team demonstrated its power to the gaming world through Dota 2 and showed what they’re capable of six years ago. The Dota 2 bot was open to the public for a couple of days in April 2019, so anybody could try to defeat it, and in three days of playing matches, it acquired a 99.4% win rate.
Having this in mind, ChatGPT is an impressive next step of something that could be sensed back then. The numerous capabilities of OpenAI were definitely improved and brought to a new scale in 2022 but it should be known that ChatGPT’s younger brother made its first steps in Dota 2, so ChatGPT could run today.
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