Artificial Intelligence might be clever enough to solve millions of complex calculations per second, but they are naive when it comes to dealing with human emotions. Perhaps this is the reason why machines could beat human players at games such as chess, Go, and checkers, but not at card games such as poker, where intuition and experience are more valuable than being able to create millions of scenarios per second.
However, it looks the days when humans were able to outsmart computers at poker games are finally over, thanks to a computer researcher who create the first machine capable of understanding the finer points of poker.
Tuomas Sandholm, a computer science professor, and Noam Brown, a Ph.D. student, have announced on Wednesday that the world of poker is not safe anymore because of Libratus, a highly-advanced artificial intelligence which can see right through the players’ bluff.
Sandholm explained that the reason why artificial intelligence is unable to win at poker, because this is an imperfect information game, meaning means that all information relevant to solving a problem are unavailable and that the computer must make guesses, thus mirroring the human brain’s thinking process.
The professor said that the inability to see through basic human behavior such as bluffing, rendered the machines useless during poker tournaments and, of course, fleecing them in the process. However, this was in the past.
Libratus proved that not only can a machine play this game, but it plays better than the professionals. To test out Libratus, Sandholm and Brown pitted the machine created by the Carnegie Mellon University against some of the ruthless poker players in the world, during the 20-day professional poker tournament hosted by Seattle.
The results are quite mind-boggling – during the 20-day tour de force, Libratus won fifteen days out of 20 and managed to rake up approximately $2 million in chips, whereas the four remaining human players managed to win only $200,000 ($50,000 each).
So, what does that tell us in terms of artificial intelligence? Quite a lot, actually. In a press conference, Sandholm declared that Libratus winning the Seattle poker tournament is only the beginning, and soon, devices such as mobile phones will be able to haggle over prices with a potential seller.
Of course, the Carnegie Mellon researcher foresaw even military applications for this type of technology. The future sounds a bit frightening, doesn’t it?
Image source: Wikipedia