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Cooperative Deep Learning in Quake CTF:

Google’s deepmind team made some big waves recently beating the world champion at GO, a famously hard board game. They’ve since made a major advancement in agents that can play a modified version of Quake III Capture the Flag.

Capture the Flag (CTF) is a popular first-person shooter game mode where players work in teams to steal a flag from the opposing team’s base while trying to avoid being “tagged”. It requires unspoken teamwork, planning, strategy, and real time interaction with the environment, tasks hard for AI.

The agents play against themselves to train, then play against humans for competition. Just like humans, they’re only allowed to look at the screen and the game score. To make things fair, the AI was given a reaction time and aiming accuracy similar to that of humans.

Even with these handicaps, the AI teams outperformed skilled human teams significantly by cooperating more and having a better sense of strategy.

Humans were still better in some areas though, and when AI teams were augmented with human players they cooperated flawlessly and often outperformed AI-only teams.

Human teams may work with AI augments in many areas in the future. This may already be happening in military applications.

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