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After First Week, AI System Is Beating Human Poker Players

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Bender, a poker-playing robot from the TV series "Futurama."

An artificial intelligence system has gained the upper hand against human players in the first week of a 20-day poker tournament.

Credit: 20th Century Fox Television

An artificial intelligence (AI) system called Libratus has gained the upper hand against human poker players in the first week of a 20-day tournament in Pittsburgh. As of Wednesday, Libratus had played more than 34,000 hands of poker with about 120,000 hands likely by the contest's conclusion.

The program led by slightly more than $74,000 on the first day and had more than doubled that sum by the second day, while by the seventh day it had raised its lead to $231,329 in chips.

Carnegie Mellon University professor and lead Libratus developer Tuomas Sandholm says poker is an accurate measure of AI's power because it is more complex than chess or Go. "Poker poses a far more difficult challenge than these games, as it requires a machine to make extremely complicated decisions based on incomplete information while contending with bluffs, slow play, and other ploys," Sandholm says.

ZK Research analyst Zeus Kerravala says he assumes the longer the game lasts, the more data--and skill--the AI accumulates. "For humans, poker is a combination of skill, intuition, and emotion," he notes. "With the AI, it's based on learned information and data. Poker is a good game [to test AI against humans] because you play the other players as much as you play the cards."

From Computerworld
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