Last week, Burns Sheehan and DeepMind hosted an exclusive event for software engineers interested in exploring the link between gaming environments and AI research. The event took place at DeepMind's impressive offices in King's Cross, and offered an informative evening of networking and learning. Throughout the evening, the audience heard from DeepMind's specialist team including software engineer, Stig Petersen, who explained some of the specific games that DeepMind has developed and also open-sourced for its research. A Q&A session followed, with participation from DeepMind’s Tom Ward, Software Engineer, and Tom Handley, Program Manager.
Q&A Panel with Tom Handley, Tom Ward and Stig Petersen
DeepMind, is at the forefront of artificial intelligence research and its application for positive impact, and is on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem without needing to be taught how. Games have always been at the heart of DeepMind’s groundbreaking research, providing an ideal platform for developing, testing and evaluating smarter, more flexible algorithms quickly and efficiently.
Presentation with Stig Petersen, Software Engineer
In 2015, the company published a paper in Nature about creating the first artificial agents to achieve human level performance across several Atari 2600 games, using deep reinforcement learning. In 2016, DeepMind went on to achieve one of AIs “grand challenges” - taking on and winning 4-1 against the legendary Mr Lee Sedol 9 Dan Professional, winner of 18 world titles and widely considered to be the greatest Go player of the past decade. Recently, DeepMind announced that it is working with Blizzard Entertainment to open up StarCraft II to AI and machine learning researchers around the world, and in December, the company went on to open-source its flagship research platform, DeepMind Lab - a fully 3D game-like platform tailored for agent-based AI research.
The evening was a fantastic opportunity to delve in to the benefits of using games to develop and test AI agents, and explore some examples that are currently in use. Attendees gained insights in to the practical applications of Artificial Intelligence, and how it can help us solve some of the world's toughest challenges.
Chris Spranklen, Director at Burns Sheehan