AI Poker Machine On Brink of VictoryJanuary 24, 2017 12:30 pm
And on the 7th day of the “Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence” battle, the machine did impose its will on the humans that lined up to challenge its authority, and they did tremble as their efforts saw them sink further and further into the mire.
My apologizes for the rather apocalyptic sounding introduction to this article, but with an Artificial Intelligence program on the brink of defeating some of the best Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em minds in the game, I can be forgiven for overdramatizing the situation somewhat. After all, the implications of the computer program Libratus defeating its human opponents will undoubtedly send seismic shock waves across the poker playing community, as well as the AI industry as a whole.
To delve into the situation further, the contest taking place against an AI program developed by Carnegie Mellon University is currently around half way through its 20 day and 120,000 hand schedule, and Team Human finds itself in an almost insurmountable position. For a while, the poker team consisting of Jason Les, Dong Kim, Jimmy Chou and Daniel McAulay looked like that they might have clawed themselves back from a poor start against Libratus, and on Day 6 were only $51,000 behind in the contest.
Day 7 proved a turning point, however, as Team Human was routed to sink $231,329 into the red, and unfortunately, it has gone progressively downhill ever since, with the team currently in the hole by $794,392 after 65,000 hands played. That’s equivalent to having lost a whopping 40 buy-ins during the contest so far.
Attempting to explain how Libratus has managed to get the better of its human opponents, all of whom are nursing losses, the pros have said that the AI program has become adept at exploiting the river, often over-bet shoving for value and as bluffs, whilst also remaining balanced and therefore unpredictable. That’s just one part of it, though, and as Jimmy Chou explains:
“The bot gets better and better every day. It’s like a tougher version of us. The first couple of days, we had high hopes. But every time we find a weakness, it learns from us and the weakness disappears the next day.”
With just 55,000 hands left to play, it seems like few people are now giving Team Human any chance of stopping Libratus from securing a famous victory over humankind.