Microsoft founder Bill Gates has hailed what he sees as a turning point in the development of AI.

OpenAI, a company which was cofounded by Tesla’s Elon Musk, has created five neural-networks called OpenAI Five which are capable of playing the online multiplayer game “Dota 2.”

Not only can the bots play as a team, they actually destroyed humans at the game during a number of battles.

OpenAI Five trains itself by playing 180 years worth of games against itself every day. “We run the game on over 100,000 CPUs and our bots learn from every game they play,” said Christy Dennison, a machine learning engineer at OpenAI.

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But the bots don’t start out automatically co-operative. “The five bots start out completely selfish but tuning this knob tells them to care about their teammates, so that they can learn to play together as one unit,” added Dennison.

You can watch the bots in action here:

In the OpenAI video, a “Dota expert” called William Lee (a.k.a. “Blitz”) comments on the bots’ proficiency. He was impressed by the AI-players’ ability to tactically occupy parts of the map.

“The ability to intuitively do this is insane,” he said. He also said it took him, as an avid “Dota,” player eight years to learn the strategies the AI was employing.

Blitz himself lost to the bots in the last match. “It felt like I was getting hammered every single time that I made a mistake and I feel like normal humans don’t do that,” he said.

According to Gates, this ability to build team-work into artificial intelligence is ground-breaking:

Now the aim is to pit OpenAI bots against professional players to see how they fare. The “Dota” international e-sports championship (The International) will take place in August, and on July 28 OpenAI Five is hosting a match against top professional players.


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