Games


The Story Universe of Magic: The Gathering Is Expanding

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Two years ago a novelist and as-yet-unproduced screenwriter named Nic Kelman went to work for Wizards of the Coast, the company that makes the popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. Kelman's job, though he might not put it this way, was to write a grimoire--a kabbalistic story bible. "Rules for magic out of the rules for Magic," as Kelman says. The company needed that grimoire because it was going to try to cast a spell in the real world--to transform a popular albeit niche game, complicated and nerdy, into a cross-media franchise. That has happened for comic books, for literature, even for toys, heaven help us.


Actor from 'Lara Croft: Tomb Raider' sequel is stabbed onstage in China: report

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines for July 21 are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com A well-known Hong Kong actor suffered a deep gash to his abdomen and a hand injury Saturday when a knife-wielding suspect attacked him onstage at a promotional event in China, according to a report. Simon Yam Tat-wah, 64, who appeared in the 2003 Hollywood film, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life," starring Angelina Jolie, was recovering after medical treatment and returning to Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported. ANGELINA JOLIE WAS A'HORRIBLE B---H' DURING NIGHTMARE DINNER, MODEL CLAIMS Simon Yam poses on the red carpet of the Hong Kong Film Awards in Hong Kong, April 3, 2016.


How the moon landing shaped early video games

The Guardian

On 20 July 1969, before an estimated television audience of 650 million, a lunar module named Eagle touched down on the moon's Sea of Tranquility. The tension of the landing and the images of astronauts in futuristic spacesuits striding over the moon's barren surface, Earth reflected in their oversized visors, would prove wildly influential to artists, writers and film-makers. Also watching were the soon-to-be proponents of another technological field populated by brilliant young geeks: computer games. It is perhaps no coincidence that during the early 1960s, when Nasa was working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Instrumentation Lab to develop the guidance and control systems for Apollo spacecraft, elsewhere on campus a programmer named Steve Russell was working with a small team to create one of the first true video game experiences. Inspired by the space race, and using the same DEC PDP-1 model of mainframe computer that generated spacecraft telemetry data for Nasa's Mariner programme, Russell wrote Spacewar!, a simple combat game in which two players controlled starships with limited fuel, duelling around the gravitational well of a nearby star.


Facebook and CMU's 'superhuman' poker AI beats human pros

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AI has definitively beaten humans at another of our favorite games. A poker bot, designed by researchers from Facebook's AI lab and Carnegie Mellon University, has bested some of the world's top players in a series of games of six-person no-limit Texas Hold'em poker. Over 12 days and 10,000 hands, the AI system named Pluribus faced off against 12 pros in two different settings. In one, the AI played alongside five human players; in the other, five versions of the AI played with one human player (the computer programs were unable to collaborate in this scenario). Pluribus won an average of $5 per hand with hourly winnings of around $1,000 -- a "decisive margin of victory," according to the researchers.


Facebook's new poker-playing AI could wreck the online poker industry--so it's not being released

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Poker requires a skill that has always seemed uniquely human: the ability to be devious. To win, players must analyze how their opponents are playing and then trick them into handing over their chips. Such cunning, of course, comes pretty naturally to people. Now an AI program has, for the first time, shown itself capable of outwitting a whole table of poker pros using similar skills.


Superhuman AI for multiplayer poker

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In recent years there have been great strides in artificial intelligence (AI), with games often serving as challenge problems, benchmarks, and milestones for progress. Poker has served for decades as such a challenge problem. Past successes in such benchmarks, including poker, have been limited to two-player games. However, poker in particular is traditionally played with more than two players. Multiplayer games present fundamental additional issues beyond those in two-player games, and multiplayer poker is a recognized AI milestone. In this paper we present Pluribus, an AI that we show is stronger than top human professionals in six-player no-limit Texas hold'em poker, the most popular form of poker played by humans. Poker has served as a challenge problem for the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and game theory for decades (1). In fact, the foundational papers on game theory used poker to illustrate their concepts (2, 3). The reason for this choice is simple: no other popular recreational game captures the challenges of hidden information as effectively and as elegantly as poker. Although poker has been useful as a benchmark for new AI and game-theoretic techniques, the challenge of hidden information in strategic settings is not limited to recreational games.


Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em? This A.I. Bluffs With the Best

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As Mr. Elias realized, Pluribus knew when to bluff, when to call someone else's bluff and when to vary its behavior so that other players couldn't pinpoint its strategy. "It does all the things the best players in the world do," said Mr. Elias, 32, who has won a record four titles on the World Poker Tour. "And it does a few things humans have a hard time doing." Experts believe the techniques that drive this and similar systems could be used in Wall Street trading, auctions, political negotiations and cybersecurity, activities that, like poker, involve hidden information. "You don't always know the state of the real world," said Noam Brown, the Facebook researcher who oversaw the Pluribus project.


AI smokes 5 poker champs at a time in no-limit Hold'em with 'relentless consistency' – TechCrunch

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The machines have proven their superiority in one-on-one games like chess and go, and even poker -- but in complex multiplayer versions of the card game humans have retained their edge… until now. An evolution of the last AI agent to flummox poker pros individually is now decisively beating them in championship-style 6-person game. As documented in a paper published in the journal Science today, the CMU/Facebook collaboration they call Pluribus reliably beats five professional poker players in the same game, or one pro pitted against five independent copies of itself. It's a major leap forward in capability for the machines, and amazingly is also far more efficient than previous agents as well. One-on-one poker is a weird game, and not a simple one, but the zero-sum nature of it (whatever you lose, the other player gets) makes it susceptible to certain strategies in which computer able to calculate out far enough can put itself at an advantage.


AI beats professionals at six-player Texas Hold 'Em poker

New Scientist

Artificial intelligence has finally cracked the biggest challenge in poker: beating top professionals in six-player no-limit Texas Hold'Em, the most popular variant of the game. Over 20,000 hands of online poker, the AI beat fifteen of the world's top poker players, each of whom has won more than $1 million USD playing the game professionally. The AI, called Pluribus, was tested in 10,000 games against five human players, as well as in 10,000 rounds where five copies of Pluribus played against one professional – and did better than the pros in both. Pluribus was developed by Noam Brown of Facebook AI Research and Tuomas Sandholm at Carnegie Mellon University in the US. It is an improvement on their previous poker-playing AI, called Libratus, which in 2017 outplayed professionals at Heads-Up Texas Hold'Em, a variant of the game that pits two players head to head.


Bet On The Bot: AI Beats The Professionals At 6-Player Texas Hold 'Em

NPR Technology

During one experiment, the poker bot Pluribus played against five professional players. During one experiment, the poker bot Pluribus played against five professional players. In artificial intelligence, it's a milestone when a computer program can beat top players at a game like chess. But a game like poker, specifically six-player Texas Hold'em, has been too tough for a machine to master -- until now. Researchers say they have designed a bot called Pluribus capable of taking on poker professionals in the most popular form of poker and winning.