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By 31 January 2017 | Categories: news

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is gunning for your chips, and it will most certainly get it. That’s if the recent poker tournament between four of the world’s top players and Libratus, an AI computer program developed by Carnegie Mellon University, is anything to go by.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that this No Limit Texas Hold’em playing AI trounced the humans by $1 766 250 in theoretical dollars, with 120 000 total hands played over 20 days at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Us humans only won a paltry four of the twenty days, with Libratus making up for the loss another AI program, Claudico, suffered in 2015 in a previous tournament.

So how does it feel playing an artificial intelligence that does not have a fixed strategy, but instead has an algorithm that computes the strategy? “I just want to know that it’s not in our head, because it seems that it changes its strategy not just because it’s learning, but against us as individuals,” said Jason Les, one of the four human losers. His teammate, Don Kim noted, "I felt like I was playing against someone who was cheating, like it could see my cards. I’m not accusing it of cheating. It was just that good."

Tuomas Sandholm, the computer science professor who created Libratus, said that the win is a landmark in AI. After Claudico’s defeat in 2015, it was predicted that an AI will only be able to win such a tournament in up to five years’ time. Libratus did it in twenty months, underpinning the fact that remarkable things are happening in AI.  

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