DARPA AI program looks to 'break' video games: Page 2 of 3

May 15, 2020 //By Rich Pell
DARPA AI program looks to 'break' video games
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched a program that seeks to develop and apply AI to existing commercial open-world video games - such as StarCraft II and FreeCiv - in an effort to develop "winning warfighting strategies."
agency, Gamebreaker aims to leverage the gaming industry’s significant AI development in these areas and build on them for purposes unique to the DoD. The teams in the program each selected two games that they will try to break, with the AI used to break the first game to be then tested on a second game.

The two-game approach is designed to validate that an AI methodology can be extended beyond a single video game and could potentially be applied to advanced DoD wargaming scenarios. The Gamebreaker teams and their two video games include the following:

  • Aurora Flight Sciences is teamed with MIT and will use StarCraft II and Google Research Football
  • BAE is teamed with UC Santa Barbara and AIMdyn and will use StarCraft II and the AFRL Strategem Wargame
  • Blue Wave AI Labs will use SpringRTS: 1944 and OpenRA
  • EpiSci will use miniRTS and StarCraft II
  • Heron Systems will use DeepRTS and StarCraft II
  • Lockheed-Martin is teamed with Cycorp and will use Multi-agent Particle Environment and SpringRTS: 1944
  • Northrop-Grumman has teamed with Hazard Software and Matrix Games and will use Command: Modern Operations and TORCS
  • Purdue University will use microRTS and StarCraft II
  • Radiance Technologies is partnered with BreakAway Games and will use FreeCiv and Zero-K

"We received many incredibly rich proposals from a diverse base of universities and small and large companies," says Javorsek. "Since the teams aren't competing against each other, we’re looking forward to a collaborative effort as performers develop their AIs across an array of games."

At the conclusion of the first phase of the program early next year, the teams will demonstrate their methods of empirically assessing game balance in the first of their two games.


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