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Blitzkrieg 3 claims world's first RTS neural net, Boris

Mind the pumpkin patch, you hooligans!

Ah, the hallowed neural net! For decades, video game developers have tried to create a digital brain, trap it in a box, and teach it to wage war on humans. The first game I remember claiming to have a neural net was Derek Smart’s Battlecruiser 3000AD and now, twenty years later, Blitzkrieg 3 [official site] says it’s got one. Developers Nival claim that their artificial intelligence, named General Boris, “is capable of playing at the top player’s level while not using any hidden information about the enemy.” He has a name but no heart. What monsters Nival are.

Update: as reader ‘Ur-Quan’ points out, 2010’s Supreme Commander 2 also gabbed about using neural networks. There’s only one way to settle this: Robot Wars.

“Every few seconds AI, who we kindly named GENERAL BORIS, analyzes the gaming session and makes neural network-based predictions of the enemy future behavior,” Nival say. “This approach allows him to think up sophisticated counter-strategies and bring them to life.”

Check out some of his moves in this video:

“Despite the fact that the leading companies of the world are working on this problem, we have managed to create the first neural network AI for RTS,” Nivel CEO Sergey Orlovskiy said in the announcement. “It is worth noting that Boris plays fairly. He does not use the information under the fog of war, as well as any other hidden information about the enemy. We gave him only the basic tactical moves, but during his training he invented a variety of strategies. He makes decisions just like a talented military leader. It has become difficult to predict his actions now, and, most importantly, to distinguish them from human behavior.”

I’m always wary of any claims of revolutionary AI breakthroughs but hey, if Boris makes the video game better then sure, that’s enough. I don’t need — or want — him to be so intelligent he has a breakdown when he realises what he did to him.

Boris will arrive in Blitzkrieg 3’s March update. The game is still in Steam Early Access, after almost two years, but is due to launch properly by the end of March.

When players say “gg” and crack jokes, what will Boris think? When they chat about their friends and tell him to copulate vigorously with his mother, what will he feel?

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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