OpenAI Plays Hide and Seek…and Breaks The Game! 🤖

OpenAI Plays Hide and Seek…and Breaks The Game! 🤖

February 8, 2020 84 By Sebastian Fry


Dear Fellow Scholars, this is Two Minute Papers
with Károly Zsolnai-Fehér. In this project, OpenAI built a hide and seek
game for their AI agents to play. While we look at the exact rules here, I will
note that the goal of the project was to pit two AI teams against each other, and hopefully
see some interesting emergent behaviors. And, boy, did they do some crazy stuff. The coolest part is that the two teams compete
against each other, and whenever one team discovers a new strategy, the other one has
to adapt. Kind of like an arms race situation, and it
also resembles generative adversarial network a little. And the results are magnificent, amusing,
weird – you’ll see in a moment. These agents learn from previous experiences,
and to the surprise of no one, for the first few million rounds, we start out with…pandemonium. Everyone just running around aimlessly. Without proper strategy and semi-random movements,
the seekers are favored and hence win the majority of the games. Nothing to see here. Then, over time, the hiders learned to lock
out the seekers by blocking the doors off with these boxes and started winning consistently. I think the coolest part about this is that
the map was deliberately designed by the OpenAI scientists in a way that the hiders can only
succeed through collaboration. They cannot win alone and hence, they are
forced to learn to work together. Which they did, quite well. But then, something happened. Did you notice this pointy, doorstop-shaped
object? Are you thinking what I am thinking? Well, probably, and not only that, but about
10 million rounds later, the AI also discovered that it can be pushed near a wall and be used
as a ramp, and, tadaa! Got’em! Te seekers started winning more again. So, the ball is now back on the court of the
hiders. Can you defend this? If so, how? Well, these resourceful little critters learned
that since there is a little time at the start of the game when the seekers are frozen, apparently,
during this time, they cannot see them, so why not just sneak out and steal the ramp,
and lock it away from them. Absolutely incredible. Look at those happy eyes as they are carrying
that ramp. And, you think it all ends here? No, no, no. Not even close. It gets weirder. Much weirder. When playing a different map, a seeker has
noticed that it can use a ramp to climb on the top of a box, and, this happens. Do you think couchsurfing is cool? Give me a break! This is box surfing! And, the scientists were quite surprised by
this move as this was one of the first cases where the seeker AI seems to have broken the
game. What happens here is that the physics system
is coded in a way that they are able to move around by exerting force on themselves, but,
there is no additional check whether they are on the floor or not, because who in their
right mind would think about that? As a result, something that shouldn’t ever
happen does happen here. And, we’re still not done yet, this paper
just keeps on giving. A few hundred million rounds later, the hiders
learned to separate all the ramps from the boxes. Dear Fellow Scholars, this is proper box surfing
defense…then, lock down the remaining tools and build a shelter. Note how well rehearsed and executed this
strategy is – there is not a second of time left until the seekers take off. I also love this cheeky move where they set
up the shelter right next to the seekers, and I almost feel like they are saying “yeah
see this here? there is not a single thing you can do about
it”. In a few isolated cases, other interesting
behaviors also emerged, for instance, the hiders learned to exploit the physics system
and just chuck the ramp away. After that, the seekers go “what?” “what just happened?”. But don’t despair, and at this point, I
would also recommend that you hold on to your papers because there was also a crazy case
where a seeker also learned to abuse a similar physics issue and launch itself exactly onto
the top of the hiders. Man, what a paper. This system can be extended and modded for
many other tasks too, so expect to see more of these fun experiments in the future. We get to do this for a living, and we are
even being paid for this. I can’t believe it. In this series, my mission is to showcase
beautiful works that light a fire in people. And this is, no doubt, one of those works. Great idea, interesting, unexpected results,
crisp presentation. Bravo OpenAI! Love it. So, did you enjoy this? What do you think? Make sure to leave a comment below. Also, if you look at the paper, it contains
comparisons to an earlier work we covered about intrinsic motivation, shows how to implement
circular convolutions for the agents to detect their environment around them, and more. Thanks for watching and for your generous
support, and I’ll see you next time!