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.
Twelve days into the strangest poker tournament of their lives, Jason Les and his companions returned to their hotel, browbeaten and exhausted. Huddled over a pile of tacos, they strategized, as they had done every night. With about 60,000 hands played -- and 60,000 to go -- they were losing badly to an unusual opponent: a computer program called Libratus, which was up nearly $800,000 in chips. That wasn't supposed to happen. In 2015, Les and a crew of poker pros had beaten a similar computer program, winning about $700,000.
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.
Beating expert poker players differs from past AI successes against human competitors in games such as Jeopardy and Go. Researchers behind a poker-playing AI system called DeepStack say it's the first algorithm to have ever beaten poker pros in heads-up no-limit Texas hold'em. The claim, if verified, would mark a major milestone in the development of artificial-intelligence systems. Beating expert poker players differs from past AI successes against human competitors in games such as Jeopardy and Go because each player's hand provides only an incomplete picture about the state of play and requires a program to navigate tactics, such as bluffing, based on asymmetrical information. DeepStack is the work of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Alberta and two Czech universities, who say in a new non-peer reviewed paper that it's the "first computer program to beat professional poker players in heads-up no-limit Texas hold'em".
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.