Over the span of 20 days early this year, artificial intelligence encountered a major test of how well it can tackle problems in the real world. A program called Libratus took on four of the best poker players in the country, at a tournament at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were playing a form of poker called heads-up no-limit Texas hold'em, where two players face off, often online, in a long series of hands, testing each other's strategies, refining their own, and bluffing like mad. After 120,000 hands, Libratus emerged with an overwhelming victory over all four opponents, winning $1,776,250 of simulated money and, more importantly, bragging rights as arguably the best poker player on the planet. Just halfway through the competition, Dong Kim, the human player who fared best against the machine, all but admitted defeat.
Polaris, a rising star in the poker world, has professional card players fretting. The 16-year-old has a perfect poker face, can shift strategies in an instant, and never gets tired. Well, you do have to recharge the laptop batteries from time to time. This crafty computer program is one in a long line of codes designed to compete with humans. And for many games, machines now surpass even the best human opponents.
When he was growing up in Ohio, his parents were avid card players, dealing out hands of everything from euchre to gin rummy. Meanwhile, he and his friends would tear up board games lying around the family home and combine the pieces to make their own games, with new challenges and new markers for victory. Bowling has come far from his days of playing with colourful cards and plastic dice. He has three degrees in computing science and is now a professor at the University of Alberta. But, in his heart, Bowling still loves playing games.
The gambling industry has adapted to the emerging trends of the consumer world, therefore it's no surprise that a trend as groundbreaking as artificial intelligence (AI) has impacted the online gambling ecosystem, online platform developer and games aggregator SoftGamings explores the situation further. Gambling has evolved immensely since its formation, from games of chance being played in China, to present times, where we can enjoy Slots, Roulette, Baccarat, Fortune Wheel, Poker, Dice and many other games. It's undeniable that we make public a considerable amount of data on our everyday lives. The information about the websites we visit, advertisements we react to, purchases we make, updates we post on social networks and many more things inform marketers a great deal about our consuming potential. This is why data collection and analysis have become crucial for optimising marketing performance.
When Tuomas Sandholm began studying poker to research artificial intelligence 12 years ago, he never imagined that a computer would be able to defeat the best human players. "At least not in my lifetime," he says. But Sandholm, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, along with doctorate student Noam Brown, developed AI software capable of doing just that. The program, called Libratus, successfully defeated four professional poker players in a 20-day competition that ended on Jan. 30. After playing 120,000 hands of heads-up, no-limit Texas Hold'em, Libratus was ahead of its human challengers by more than $1.7 million in chips.