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This article was published on February 12, 2020

Gamers will teach AI how to control military drone swarms

Starcraft champions: Your country needs you


Gamers will teach AI how to control military drone swarms Image by: Douglas Levere / University of Buffalo
Thomas Macaulay
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Thomas Macaulay

Writer at Neural by TNW Writer at Neural by TNW

Gamers could soon be guiding military robots after researchers won a grant to investigate what they can teach an AI about controlling swarms of drones.

Scientists from the University of Buffalo will study the decisions, brainwaves and eye movements of people playing video games. They will then use this data to build an AI that can control autonomous air and ground robots

The participants will play a real-time strategy game developed by the research team that’s comparable to the likes of Starcraft and Company of Heroes, UBNow revealed.

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[Read: How DeepMind’s AI defeated top players at StarCraft II]

While they play, the researchers will record their decisions, track their eye movements with high-speed cameras, and monitor their brain wave patterns through electroencephalography (EEG) headsets.

The data they extract will be used to create algorithms that guide swarms of up to 250 military drones.

“We don’t want the AI system just to mimic human behavior; we want it to form a deeper understanding of what motivates human actions. That’s what will lead to more advanced AI,” principal investigator Chowdhury told UBNow.

The study will be funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which recently published a video showing how its drone swarms could conduct an urban raid.

StarCraft experts left unimpressed by DARPA’s efforts now have a chance to demonstrate that their own tactics are superior.


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