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Parents' Guide to

Artificial Gamer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Interesting docu about building an AI to play Dota 2.

Movie NR 2021 92 minutes
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It would likely help to be either a tech expert or a passionate player of Dota 2 -- or both -- to fully appreciate this dense, quickly paced documentary. But even if you're not, it will still likely hold your attention. Artificial Gamer starts with a little history, showing how computers have been created over the past several decades to beat Tic-Tac-Toe, Pong, Checkers, Backgammon, Chess, and even the TV game show Jeopardy. (Although, isn't that last one cheating a bit? Wouldn't a computer simply be able to Google all the answers?) The film tries to explain the levels of complexity that exist in Dota 2, but images of the game -- which looks like a normal fighting game -- don't really fully convey that aspect.

Nonetheless, you definitely get the idea that the OpenAI team is up for a real challenge. Occasionally there's an impressive tidbit or factoid like the fact that thousands of computers were set up so that the AI could play 180 years' worth of Dota 2 each day. The team members are all pretty lovable characters (even the one whose nickname is "Psycho"). And the final act at The International is admittedly pretty exciting, with the lights, the crowd, and the enthusiastic announcers; the OpenAI team seems swept away by it all, in awe of the show and aware that there's more at stake than they had imagined. Since Artificial Gamer tends to move a little quickly, it comes out feeling somewhat inconsequential, but it's still worth a look.

Movie Details

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