AI versus Human Poker Rematch to Start on January 11thJanuary 5, 2017 2:13 pm
In 1997, an IBM supercomputer called Deep Blue became the first program to beat a reigning world chess champion, while in 2016 an artificial intelligence system called AlphaGo managed to do likewise to legendary Go player Lee Se-dol. Last year, the artificial intelligence program Claudico then narrowly missed out on victory over a number of top poker pros, but now another Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) developed computer, Libratus, is ready to resume the challenge to prove machines dominance over humans.
Starting on January 11th at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, a team of four poker pros will take on Libratus over a heads-up no-limit Texas Hold’em challenge lasting 120,000 hands. In a contest dubbed as “Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante,” this time around a prize purse of $200,000 will be up for grabs, which will add an extra incentive for Jason Les, Dong Kim, Daniel McAulay and Jimmy Chou to make short work of their computer opponent.
The CMU computer science professor who developed the program, Tuomas Sandholm, has also acknowledged the formidable challenge Libratus is facing, and as he explains: “Poker poses a far more difficult challenge than these games [Chess, Jeopardy, Go] as it requires a machine to make extremely complicated decisions based on incomplete information while contending with bluffs, slow play and other ploys.”
In the meantime, its human opponents are already relishing their upcoming competition and the opportunity to gauge any advances made it AI technology since their previous encounter. One of the players, Jason Les, has said that predicting a result will be a lot harder this time around as both humans and players alike have been making great strides in their understanding of poker over the last 20 months.
As well as being incredibly fascinating, information gathered during the contest will also have important real world applications and will help further an undestanding of the decision-making processes that are faced on a daily basis across a range of different industries, including business, the military, medicine and cyber security.