ArenaX Labs has closed a $5 million seed round led by Paradigm with participation from Framework. The funds will help accelerate the development of AI Arena, an Ethereum-native player vs. player fighting game where the characters are powered by artificial intelligence.
AI Arena players own their own fighters that contain typical non-fungible token (NFT) attributes such as power, speed and accuracy. The fighters are also embedded with an artificial neural network, which allows them to operate autonomously.
“You have this autonomous AI that can compete with other autonomous AI around the world. The goal is to train [the fighter] to get better and better so you can earn more on our play-to-earn platform,” ArenaX founder and chief executive officer Brandon Da Silva told CoinDesk in an interview.
The AI fighters are trained through either imitation learning, where the player takes control and “teaches” the AI how to react to a variety of circumstances, or self play, where the AI is set loose to start training on its own.
The play-to-earn aspect of AI Arena currently involves ranked battle where leaderboard standings determine the amount of tokens a player receives. Da Silva says ArenaX is planning a wagered battle mode further down the line where players can bet against their opponent.
ArenaX expects to launch AI Arena at the end of the first quarter of 2022 or the beginning of the second quarter, Da Silva told CoinDesk.
“We love the team and think the concept of AI characters as collectibles is ingenious. We’re excited to see how crypto and game mechanics can help drive forward innovation and reward researchers in artificial intelligence,” said Dan Robinson, head of research at Paradigm, in a statement to CoinDesk.