This AI could change strategy games as we know them forever

Meta AI was named after the Roman statesman Cicero.

Meta AI was named after the Roman statesman Cicero.

It’s a beautiful dream: strategy games where we have real negotiations with NPCs. Who rob us, rob us of Pyrrhic victories at the round table, and remember our conduct.

In fact, diplomacy in strategy titles often means: ready-made dialogue option buttons, a handful of values ​​in the background, and always the same voice lines when we open the negotiation menu.

But the dream of immersive battles over alliances, victory conditions, and non-aggression pacts may be closer than many think. The solution to how things could be different these days is called AI.

The reason for looking forward with hope is called Cicero. AI is named after the Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero A project by the Facebook group Meta.

AI is primarily designed to cooperate with humans, but also to argue and negotiate on its own behalf. To do this, Meta divides AI into two parts:

The first part of AI is the model that creates a favorable strategy. It works in a similar way to existing game AIs and shares similarities with the Go AI AlphaGo, for example.

The second part is the natural language processing system. It should communicate with people in the most natural and consistent way. Such models, especially GPT-3, have been very popular in recent months. GPT-3 already wrote the Stellaris article for us as KI-Micha.

The architectural model shows two Cicero subsystems.  (Image source:

The architectural model shows two Cicero subsystems. (Image source:

The special feature of Cicero is the combination of two systems: Cicero uses only the first model to come up with a smart strategy and plan people’s reactions in advance. Using the second model, the artificial intelligence tries to implement the strategy in a dialogue with six players simultaneously, that is, to negotiate favorably with all of them.

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Cicero in Action: The Best of Diplomacy

To test Cicero, Meta lets his AI play an online version of the classic board game Diplomacy. It’s a strategy game with fairly simple rules. A special feature of diplomacy is the social component.

Between each round, players have time to debate. They make secret treaties, open alliances or agreements to divide the acquired land. Then all the games make their moves at the same time – and make or break their agreements.

Cicero is already showing the potential of AI in such open negotiations. The AI ​​is now ahead of most human diplomacy players and is in the top 10 percent of users.

Cicero works: AI deals with players through chat.  (Image source:

Cicero works: AI deals with players through chat. (Image source:

Is Cicero paving the way for better strategy games?

said month in a press release about Cicero clearly Cicero is not an AI designed to beat humans in games. Instead, she should learn to cooperate and communicate. This is in line with three-time Diplomacy World Champion Andrew Goff’s statement:

Cicero learned diplomacy much like many other players. In the beginning, you lie a lot just because the game allows you to. But one of the great lessons and one of the great things about diplomacy is that it teaches you to be fair. Because this is the best way to success.

Andrew Goff, three-time world champion of diplomacy

Nevertheless, Cicero’s example may have an even greater impact on strategy games in the near future. Because even though Diplomacy is cooperative, it’s a so-called zero-sum game: in the end, one player wins and the others lose.

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Cicero isn’t the only AI that could change strategy games forever. Another project comes from Germany and is designed to turn civilization into a whole new challenge.

AI Learning for Civilization - The AI ​​Revolution from Germany


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AI Learning for Civilization – The AI ​​Revolution from Germany

For Cicero’s Heir to change the way we think about diplomacy in strategy games, there are still a few hurdles to clear. Thus, in diplomacy, Cicero communicates honestly almost all the time. Although this is the best strategy for winning, it provides only limited excitement in games…

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