Wednesday, February 08, 2017

AI conquers No Limit Texas Hold 'Em

Wired reports: [edited]

An AI built by two Carnegie Mellon researchers has defeated four top players at no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em — a particularly complex form of poker that relies heavily on longterm betting strategies and game theory.

Over the past twenty years, machines have topped the best humans at checkers, chess, Scrabble, Jeopardy!, and even the ancient game of Go. But no AI had ever beaten the best at such an extreme game of 'imperfect information', a game where certain elements, such as the cards on the table, are hidden.

Carnegie Mellon professor Tuomas Sandholm and grad student Noam Brown designed the AI, which they call Libratus, Latin for 'balance'. Across 20 days of play, Libratus topped its four human competitors by more than $1.7 million.

According to the human players that lost out to the machine, Libratus is aptly named. It does a little bit of everything well: knowing when to bluff and when to bet low with very good cards, as well as when to change its bets just to thrown off the competition. “It splits its bets into three, four, five different sizes,” says Daniel McAulay, 26, one of the players bested by the machine. “No human has the ability to do that.”

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