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Teaching computers to play games has always been a useful (if somewhat crude) measure of their intelligence. But as our machines have gotten smarter, we’ve had to find new challenges for them. First it was chess, then Atari, then the board game Go, and now they’re taking on their biggest challenge yet: Starcraft.

To be precise, Starcraft II, which researchers at Google’s AI subsidiary DeepMind say is the perfect environment for teaching computers advanced skills like memory and planning. Last year, DeepMind said it was going to work with Starcraft creator Blizzard to turn the space-based strategy game into a proper research environment for AI engineers, and today, that software is being released to the public.

The toolkit from DeepMind…

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