The current most popular variant of poker, played in casinos and seen on television, is no-limit Texas hold'em. This game and a smaller variant, limit Texas hold'em, have been used as a testbed for artificial intelligence research since 1997. Since 2006, the Annual Computer Poker Competition has allowed researchers, programmers, and poker players to play their poker programs against each other, allowing us to find out which artificial intelligence techniques work best in practice. The competition has resulted in significant advances in fields such as computational game theory, and resulted in algorithms that can find optimal strategies for games six orders of magnitude larger than was possible using earlier techniques.
AI has a long history of defeating human players in games. IBM's "Deep Blue" developed by Carnegie Mellon University beat chess world champion Garry Kasparov in their re-match in 1997. Google AlphaGo AI won the game "Go" by defeating leading Go player Lee Sedol. IBM supercomputer Watson beat two "Jeopardy" champions at their own game in 2011. But, did you know that AI recently conquered the very human game of Poker?
Now entering its eighth year, the Annual Computer Poker Competition (ACPC) is the premier event within the field of computer poker. With both academic and nonacademic competitors from around the world, the competition provides an open and international venue for benchmarking computer poker agents. We describe the competition's origins and evolution, current events, and winning techniques The competition has been held annually since 2006, open to all competitors, in conjunction with top-tier artificial intelligence conferences (AAAI and IJCAI). In 2006 the competition began with only 5 competitors. Since then, the total number of competitors has increased.
Ever since the inception of Artificial Intelligence, humans have been in a constant battle with the modern thinking-machines. AI has touched many industries, by showing outstanding results and even outperforming humans. As statistics show, 62% of millennials aged 17-24 and 35% of people over 55 trust the super abilities and the future of AI. It is also interesting that 71% of people over 50 believe that intelligent virtual assistants will simplify their lives in the future. Meanwhile, the history of the Brains vs AI battle contains many examples of where one defeats the other.
The latest poker AI defeated pros heads-up. What can we humans learn from Libratus? "Developing an AI that can [bluff] successfully is a tremendous step forward scientifically." The Terminator, I, Robot, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence are among the many films in the past four decades with the theme of artificial intelligence evolving beyond humans' reach and leading to the end of humankind. While such a scenario remains unlikely in the near future, many believe that at least the first part – AI surpassing the human brain and mind to reach a level of artificial superintelligence (ASI) – will most likely happen some time in the next 30 years, according to Jeff Nesbit in U.S. News & World Report.
In previous columns, I've pointed out that what passes for "breakthroughs" in Artificial Intelligence aka AI) are a repackaging of decades-old technology: pattern recognition, rule-based programming and neural nets. That's why, when confronted with the video above, I decided to "drill down" (as they say in the boardroom) into what's probably the most spectacular of the examples: the poker-playing program from Carnegie Mellon University that bested professionals in tournament play. I started with the University's original press release. It briefly explained what the program, called Libratus, had accomplished, which was factual enough. Then, however, the press released started sounding, well..., a bit like marketing hype.
Do you know what makes poker the most popular casino game? Its unique blend of strategic decision making under pressure and possibility to play the players, not the cards, turn this simple game into an elaborate affair, which provides an unmatched adrenalin kick. Easy to learn, hard to master, poker comes in many flavours. Undoubtedly, the most popular variations are Texas Hold'em, Omaha and 7-Card Stud, and they figure at all the best online poker sites, UK and worldwide. Thanks to poker's immense popularity, there are so many online poker sites that it is difficult to pinpoint the absolute best place to play.
It's there you'll find the professors who solved the game of checkers, beat a top human player in the game of Go and used cutting-edge artificial intelligence to outsmart a handful of professional poker players for the very first time. He's a pioneer in a branch of artificial intelligence research known as reinforcement learning -- the computer science equivalent of treat-training a dog, except in this case the dog is an algorithm that's been incentivized to behave in a certain way. U of A computing science professors and artificial intelligence researchers (left to right) Richard Sutton, Michael Bowling and Patrick Pilarski are working with Google's DeepMind to open the AI company's first research lab outside the U.K., in Edmonton. Last week, Google's AI subsidiary DeepMind announced it was opening its first international office in Edmonton, where Sutton -- alongside professors Michael Bowling and Patrick Pilarski -- will work part-time.