Big Blind Special: Artificial intelligence beats four players


Computer system beats four human players in a poker marathon match which lasted for 20 days.

Earlier, researchers had trained DeepStack, a deep learning algorithm, to become the first artificial intelligence program to beat poker players.

London: In a significant milestone for artificial intelligence, a computer system has successfully beaten four human players in a poker marathon match lasting 20 days winning more than $1.5 millions worth of chips.

Libratus, an AI programme developed at Carnegie Mellon University, US, was trained to play a variant of the game known as no-limit heads-up Texas hold ‘em. “Heads-up no limit Texas hold ‘em is in a way the last frontier of all the games,” said Tuomas Sandholm, professor at Carnegie Mellon University. “Othello, Chess, Go, Jeopardy have all been conquered, but this remained elusive: this is a landmark in AI game-play,” said Sandholm.

The algorithm used in the system could be transferred to a range of other uses including negotiations, finance, medical treatment and cybersecurity, he added. “Now we have proven the ability of AI to do strategy and reasoning, there are many potential applications in future,” Sandholm was quoted by BBC News. One of the professional poker players, Jimmy Chou, admitted that the AI was proving a tough opponent.

“The bot gets better and better every day. It’s like a tougher version of us,” he said. “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,” Chou said.