The world's best professional poker players appear to have found their match: An artificial intelligence developed by researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). The AI dubbed Libratus has already accumulated winnings of nearly $800,000 against human poker professionals at the Brain Vs. The human players compete to win shares of the $200,000 prize while Liberatus aims to be the first computer program to win in a professional poker tournament. Many AI researchers consider poker to be among the hardest games for computers to beat humans at. How AIs fare against human players when performing tasks has long been used as a measure of progress in the field of AI research.
Carnegie Mellon's No-Limit Texas Hold'em software made short work of four of the world's best professional poker players in Pittsburgh at the grueling "Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence" poker tournament. Poker now joins chess, Jeopardy, go, and many other games at which programs outplay people. But poker is different from all the others in one big way: players have to guess based on partial, or "imperfect" information. "Chess and Go are games of perfect information," explains Libratus co-creator Noam Brown, a Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon. "All the information in the game is available for both sides to see.
The Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh may not seem a likely setting for a major scientific breakthrough. But on Tuesday, it was: Libratus, an AI system developed by Carnegie Mellon University, beat the world's top four human players in a 20-day tournament of Head's-Up No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker. Libratus, developed by Carnegie Mellon's Tuomas Sandholm, a professor of computer science, and Noam Brown, a Ph.D. student in computer science, competed against Dong Kim, Jimmy Chou, Daniel McAulay, and Jason Les in a competition called "Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante"--during which 120,000 hands were played. "This is the last frontier," said Sandholm during a press conference on Tuesday.
Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante" poker competition nears its halfway point, Carnegie Mellon University's AI program, called Libratus, is opening a lead over its human opponents -- four of the world's best professional poker players. Libratus had amassed a lead of $459,154 in chips in the 49,240 hands played by the end of Day Nine. One of the pros, Jimmy Chou, said he and his colleagues initially underestimated Libratus, but have come to regard it as one tough player. "The bot gets better and better every day," Chou said. AI, which began Jan. 11 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, pits Chou and three other leading players -- Dong Kim, Jason Les and Daniel McAulay -- against Libratus in a 20-day contest in which they will play 120,000 hands of Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker.
In a landmark achievement for artificial intelligence, a poker bot developed by researchers in Canada and the Czech Republic has defeated several professional players in one-on-one games of no-limit Texas hold'em poker. Perhaps most interestingly, the academics behind the work say their program overcame its human opponents by using an approximation approach that they compare to "gut feeling." "If correct, this is indeed a significant advance in game-playing AI," says Michael Wellman, a professor at the University of Michigan who specializes in game theory and AI. "First, it achieves a major milestone (beating poker professionals) in a game of prominent interest. Second, it brings together several novel ideas, which together support an exciting approach for imperfect-information games."