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.
The latest battle between man and machine is being played out on the poker tables of a Pennsylvania casino, and so far humanity is losing. An artificial intelligence computer program called Liberatus has accumulated winnings of almost $800,000 against a team of professional poker players at the Brain Vs. Liberatus, developed by Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, is aiming to be the first computer program to win a professional poker tournament--a game considered by many AI researchers to be one of the hardest for computers to beat humans at. Artificial intelligence advances in recent years have seen computers master and eventually outperform the best human players at games including Chess and the game show Jeopardy!. In 2016, researchers at Google's DeepMind developed a system that was able to beat champion Go player Lee Sedol--a significant step for artificial intelligence.
Any poker player with a winning bankroll will tell you that to become a true great at the table, you uncover what opponents are trying to hide -- noticing a slight physical tic, or the way one shuffles their chips, or even how they breathe. Those "tells" can reveal as much to an elite poker pro as if their opponent turned over their hand and showed them their cards. The best of the best understand and play the game on a level few will ever truly achieve. And a bunch of them just got their asses kicked by an advanced artificial intelligence program. As reported by New Scientist, the AI program Libratus from Carnegie Melon University has now bested four professional players after 120,000 hands in a 20-day, no-limit Texas Hold'em heads-up tournament (the AI played directly against one player at a time, with each rotating through).
A grandad from East Yorkshire has won $2.6m (£2m) by finishing fourth in the world's most prestigious poker tournament. John Hesp, 64, of Bridlington, made it to the final table of the main event at the World Series of Poker (WSOP). The grandfather of seven swapped his local casino in Hull for Las Vegas to take part in the 7,221-player contest. Mr Hesp's progress captivated the poker world, with many of the game's biggest names rooting for him to win. The semi-retired businessman, who paid $10,000 (£7,000) to enter the tournament, won admirers for his colourful dress sense and cheerful demeanour at the table.
If you've ever left a poker table penniless, you definitely don't want to go up against Libratus. Built by a computer science professor and a graduate student, the artificial intelligence system is handily beating pro poker players in a Texas hold'em tournament in Pittsburgh. Two weeks into the 20-day heads up (or one-on-one), no-limit tournament, Libratus is up by more than a million dollars on its human counterparts. The A.I. system was designed by Tuomas Sandholm, a professor at Carnegie Mellon, and his student, Noam Brown. A.I. systems have already wiped the floor with humans at a number of games.