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CS: GO – Valve is training Artificial Intelligence to combat cheating

CSGO anti cheat ai.jpg

Nobody likes going into a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) match and getting completely wrecked by someone who is obviously cheating. Cheaters must be wiped from the face of the CS: GO servers, a job tailor-made for Artificial Intelligence (AI); think Terminator’s SkyNET, but instead of the human race it focuses on exterminating cheating.

That is the dream of course, and it probably still a very long way off, but according to a Reddit post, Valve is starting to train AI to detect cheats. When asked why Valve doesn’t automate the processes to detect obvious cheats such as Spinbot (where the cheating player spins around headshotting any enemy in sight), Valve first explained that:

“So some bad news: any hard-coded detection of spin-botting leads to an arms race with cheat developers – if they can find the edges of the heuristic you’re using to detect the cheat, the problem comes back.” - Source

Cheaters always find a way to come back and cheating software is updated on a regular basis. Valve needs a new approach, something more permanent; something that can adapt and learn as cheating software changes, which is where AI comes in.

Valve talks about machine-learning, the difficulties in implementing such a system and offers some good news, unless you are a cheater of course:

“Instead, you’d want to take a machine-learning approach, training (and continuously retraining) a classifier that can detect the differences between cheaters and normal/highly-skilled players.                    

The process of parsing, training, and classifying player data places serious demands on hardware, which means you want a machine other than the server doing the work. And because you don’t know ahead of time who might be using this kind of cheat, you’d have to monitor matches as they take place, from all ten players’ perspectives.

There are over a million CS:GO matches played every day, so to avoid falling behind you’d need a system capable of parsing and processing every demo of every match from every player’s perspective, which currently means you’d need a datacenter capable of powering thousands of cpu cores.

The good news is that we’ve started this work. An early version of the system has already been deployed and is submitting cases to Overwatch. Since the results have been promising, we’re going to continue this work and expand the system over time.” - Source

With over a million CS: GO matches a day, some serious hardware is obviously required and there is a lot of learning for the AI to do. However, it is an extremely good step in the right direction, one that will hopefully stop cheaters and cheating software in their tracks in the future.

When the inevitable robot uprising occurs, maybe they will take out the cheaters first. With that in mind, let me be the first to say that: I, for one, welcome our new anti-cheat AI overlords. Do you? Let us know in the comment section below.

Source: Reddit | Main Image Credit: KAZ Vorpal for the Simpsons reporter. Changes made

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