Elon Musk just made Microsoft Azure 100% cooler by association

While Azure has been Microsoft’s main growth driver over the last few years it’s not exactly been exciting us, but real life Tony Stark Elon Musk has just made the technology 100% cooler after thanking Microsoft in a tweet for contributing resources to his OpenAI initiative.

The eSports Musk is referring to is Dota 2, where in a 1v1 exhibition game under standard tournament rules at The International 2017 the OpenAI bot beat top human player Danil Ishutin aka Dendi in 2 matches after which Ishutin threw in the towel.

The bot learned the game from scratch by self-play over a 2 week period and does not use imitation learning or tree search, something which Musk notes take a huge amount of computing resources, contributed by Microsoft on this occasion.

OpenAI notes that this is a step towards building AI systems which accomplish well-defined goals in messy, complicated situations involving real humans. Dota 2 is a very complicated game featuring a huge number of variables including 113 playable heroes with unique talents that can be further modified or enhanced by various factors, and in that way is much more complex than even Go.

Ishutin noted that “I am sure it is possible to beat it. But it have no room for even slight mistakes.”

Musk has repeatedly warned about the eventual dangers of AI as presenting an existential risk to all humans when sometime in the future (50+ years from now) Artificial Super-Intelligence exceeds human capabilities in every way and its interest does not align fully with that of humans, and has urged for regulation in that area to assess and manage the risk.

See the event described below.

OpenAI is a $1 billion initiative by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Y Combinator President Sam Altman to accelerate AI research in the public so any advances could be shared equally with the whole world, rather than being a proprietary advantage for any one company. Microsoft Azure is the venture’s preferred location to run OpenAI experiments after Microsoft install NVIDIA’s DGX-1 supercomputers on their Azure cloud.

“We have a very high need for compute load, and Microsoft can help us support that,” says Altman.

The deal gives Microsoft increased access to OpenAI’s deep bench of robotics and experts, helping Microsoft become a better provider for AI services, which would ultimately help Microsoft serve their corporate AI-using consumers better.

“You want to get a good feedback loop going,” says Microsoft Executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise Scott Guthrie. “That helps you ultimately build a better platform.”

Dota 2 fans can see the full match below:

As can be seen in the full match, the bot has learned quite a few tricks, including zoning (preventing the enemy from hitting your creeps to deny them experience and gold), raze faking (starting a raze animation to trick an enemy into dodging a non-existent attack) and more.

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