Dota 2
An OpenAI-powered bot defeated a top 'Dota 2' player at The International. Getty

Artificial intelligence applications have gone head-to-head with humans in a lot of scenarios over the past few years and the latest application has seen esports players take the latest loss. An artificial intelligence application beat a top player in the multiplayer online game Dota 2.

At The International championship in Seattle earlier this week, a program developed by firm OpenAI managed to beat top Dota 2 player Danil Ishutin, better known as Dendi, in a series of 1 vs. 1 matches.

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During the first match, the bot took the victory after Ishutin and it traded kills and blows. But after taking an early lead in the next round, Ishutin forfeited the match and gave the bot the final win. For OpenAI, Dendi was also the latest major player the bot managed to take down. In a pre-roll segment, OpenAI’s bot was shown beating several other top Dota 2 players in matches.

Check out Dendi’s match against OpenAI’s bot below and it begins around the 7:15 mark:

In a streamed video, OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman detailed how the bot was able to learn and develop its skills within Dota 2. In a second video from OpenAI, the company also showed how its bots were able to organically learn and develop specific in-game behaviors.

"Our bot is trained entirely through self-play,” Brockman said. “It starts off completely random with no knowledge of the world and simply plays against a copy of itself, which means it always has an evenly matched opponent, and it climbs this ladder of skill level until it's able to reach the performance of the best professional players in the world."

While OpenAI’s bot has had a strong record against Dota 2 professionals, its performance does come with a qualifier. The game typically features two teams of five players going head-to-head and reducing matches to a 1 vs. 1 scenario limits the number of options a bot has to consider. OpenAI’s next goal for its application is having a full team of AI bots face off against Dota 2 players.

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OpenAI’s Dota 2 bot is also the latest example of artificial intelligence bots beating humans in gaming. Earlier this summer, a bot from Google managed to beat the top-ranked player in the board game Go. Last year, developer Blizzard also announced a partnership with AI firm DeepMind to develop AI research using Starcraft II.

While gaming and esports might not seem like the most obvious avenue for academic development, OpenAI’s bot is the latest example of modern AI applications. With machine learning, bots like OpenAI’s can generally be put into a scenario and independently learn from its past mistakes to become smarter. The broadness of AI and these abilities — much to the chagrin of figures including Elon Musk — have also made it a red-hot area for development and investment among tech companies and venture firms.