While Blizzard is mostly known for churning out industry-leading gaming titles like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm, a recent announcement at the company's annual convention, BlizzCon 2016, regarding an upcoming project with the Google DeepMind team shows that this Irvine-based organization has its sights set on a lot more than just the next fan-favorite video game.
Specifically, Ars Technica's Nick Cowen points out that Blizzard and Google are banding together to leverage the Starcraft 2 platform as a way to test and enhance the capabilities of the DeepMind artificial intelligence (A.I.) system. The big key here is that the complexity of the game (hidden environmental changes, sophisticated strategical planning, resource management, etc.) offers a unique challenge - and expansive virtual "testing ground" - that DeepMind has never faced before in its previous iterations.
The best part about this project? Once Google and Blizzard hammer out the kinks and develop a process for successfully integrating A.I. agents into the system and benchmarking their performance, this dynamic industry duo intend to release the Starcraft 2 testing environment to the public. Needless to say, this could end up being a major boon for A.I. researchers and developers who desire to test their systems in a virtual space, but lack the same resources as the DeepMind and Blizzard teams.
Want to read even more about the big news coming out of Blizzard HQ? Then go ahead and give the link below a click and you'll have a chance to dig into the complete story from Cown and the rest of the Ars Technica team.