StarCraft II is one of the most challenging simulated reinforcement learning environments; it is partially observable, stochastic, multi-agent, and mastering StarCraft II requires strategic planning over long time horizons with real-time low-level execution. It also has an active professional competitive scene. StarCraft II is uniquely suited for advancing offline RL algorithms, both because of its challenging nature and because Blizzard has released a massive dataset of millions of StarCraft II games played by human players. This paper leverages that and establishes a benchmark, called AlphaStar Unplugged, introducing unprecedented challenges for offline reinforcement learning. We define a dataset (a subset of Blizzard's release), tools standardizing an API for machine learning methods, and an evaluation protocol. We also present baseline agents, including behavior cloning, offline variants of actor-critic and MuZero. We improve the state of the art of agents using only offline data, and we achieve 90% win rate against previously published AlphaStar behavior cloning agent.
Language modelling provides a step towards intelligent communication systems by harnessing large repositories of written human knowledge to better predict and understand the world. In this paper, we present an analysis of Transformer-based language model performance across a wide range of model scales -- from models with tens of millions of parameters up to a 280 billion parameter model called Gopher. These models are evaluated on 152 diverse tasks, achieving state-of-the-art performance across the majority. Gains from scale are largest in areas such as reading comprehension, fact-checking, and the identification of toxic language, but logical and mathematical reasoning see less benefit. We provide a holistic analysis of the training dataset and model's behaviour, covering the intersection of model scale with bias and toxicity. Finally we discuss the application of language models to AI safety and the mitigation of downstream harms.
Deep reinforcement learning has led to many recent-and groundbreaking-advancements. However, these advances have often come at the cost of both the scale and complexity of the underlying RL algorithms. Increases in complexity have in turn made it more difficult for researchers to reproduce published RL algorithms or rapidly prototype ideas. To address this, we introduce Acme, a tool to simplify the development of novel RL algorithms that is specifically designed to enable simple agent implementations that can be run at various scales of execution. Our aim is also to make the results of various RL algorithms developed in academia and industrial labs easier to reproduce and extend. To this end we are releasing baseline implementations of various algorithms, created using our framework. In this work we introduce the major design decisions behind Acme and show how these are used to construct these baselines. We also experiment with these agents at different scales of both complexity and computation-including distributed versions. Ultimately, we show that the design decisions behind Acme lead to agents that can be scaled both up and down and that, for the most part, greater levels of parallelization result in agents with equivalent performance, just faster.