Anybody that fears a future in which robots are our overlords should probably stop reading this story immediately because what we are about to show you is scary.

At the weekend artificial intelligence firm OpenAI showed how well its bots can play a game of Dota 2. Not just any game of Dota mind you but a game of Dota against a team of former and current Dota 2 professionals.

The players (bot or human) could choose from a pool of 18 heroes, the scan functionality was disabled and players were not allowed to purchase a Bottle or Divine Rapier. The game also featured five invulnerable couriers.

So how did the games go? If you were cheering for the humans well, let’s say the game went very poorly indeed.

During the first game the humans fought hard but ultimately lost to the bots which did not concede a single tower. The second game saw the humans grab a tower from the OpenAI bots but ultimately the humans lost a second game. Something interesting to note is that after the humans paused the first game, and the bots paused game two.

Whether this was for a tactical advantage is unclear but it shows you how fast the bots learn. For those wondering the OpenAI bot learns at an average rate of 180 years per day

The humans did eventually manage to grab game three from the bots but the damage was done. OpenAI showed off how good it’s bots are but the firm’s real test will come later this month when the bots face the greatest Dota 2 players in the world at The International 8.

What is uncanny is the precision the bots have. We know that this is a machine that is tasked with being incredible at Dota 2 but you really need to see just how good it is to understand why my jaw is permanently on the floor.

We did notice that the bots lack fear and that’s what makes some Dota 2 games exciting. Whether it’s losing a game and losing ranks as a result or a gargantuan prize pool in The International, emotion is a massive part of watching a Dota game and watching a bot play the game is just too clinical.

That having been said seeing how proficient a bot can be at a game is awesome to see and you can watch the full stream of the games (including the AI vs. members of the audience) below.

Watch OpenAI Five Benchmark from OpenAI on


Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.