Carnegie Mellon Artificial Intelligence Beats Top Poker Pros


Carnegie Mellon Artificial Intelligence Beats Top Poker Pros

Libratus, an artificial intelligence developed by Carnegie Mellon University, made history by defeating four of the world’s best professional poker players in a marathon 20-day poker competition, called “Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante” at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.

Once the last of 120,000 hands of Heads-up, No-Limit Texas Hold’em were played on Jan. 30, Libratus led the pros by a collective $1,766,250 in chips. The developers of Libratus — Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science, and Noam Brown, a Ph.D. student in computer science — said the sizable victory is statistically significant and not simply a matter of luck.

“The best AI’s ability to do strategic reasoning with imperfect information has now surpassed that of the best humans,” Sandholm said.

This new milestone in artificial intelligence has implications for any realm in which information is incomplete and opponents sow misinformation, said Frank Pfenning, head of the Computer Science Department in CMU’s School of Computer Science. Business negotiation, military strategy, cybersecurity and medical treatment planning could all benefit from automated decision-making using a Libratus-like AI.

“The computer can’t win at poker if it can’t bluff,” Pfenning said. “Developing an AI that can do that successfully is a tremendous step forward scientifically and has numerous applications. Imagine that your smartphone will someday be able to negotiate the best price on a new car for you. That’s just the beginning.”

“After play ended each day, a meta-algorithm analyzed what holes the pros had identified and exploited in Libratus’ strategy,” Sandholm said. “It then prioritized the holes and algorithmically patched the top three using the supercomputer each night. This is very different than how learning has been used in the past in poker. Typically researchers develop algorithms that try to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses. In contrast, here the daily improvement is about algorithmically fixing holes in our own strategy.”

Sandholm also said that Libratus’ end-game strategy, which was computed live with the Bridges computer for each hand, was a major advance.

“The end-game solver has a perfect analysis of the cards,” he said.

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This looks like a big step in adaptation of algorithm analysis. There have been a lot of different varied accomplishments in the development of AI in recent years.



I DO NOT WANT my *medical treatment plan *to bluff me!!




Poker is not all about the cards.
It is also about reading your opponent.

Of course a computer with no emotions will have an advantage.

I do not believe this victory at cards says anything meaningful.


It doesn’t say ANYTHING meaningful? Wow, doesn’t look like you’ll be impressed with any sort of technological advancement if you can’t find a single thing about this that is impressive.

I say it’s very cool and quite interesting to see this kind of advancement in computer reasoning.


I assume the computer can count cards?


I agree, its very impressive, as it technology in general, but its probably one of those tech things that will never ever be available to the general public. They must always take into consideration how much power a new technology gives people…if its too much or ‘too beneficial’, or better, takes too much of their control away, it is withheld, people not given access to.

Kind of like if someone came up with an invisibility cloak and it really worked, do you actually think they would allow them to be sold to the public…absolutely not, one of their first concerns would be how people MAY use this new technology, robbing banks, sneaking around doing other crimes without being visible, etc

Same thing with this AI beating poker, their first concern would be people possibly using it to cheat at gambling, and all the problems that would cause.

I think this is one reason why tech in general has sort of plateaued, tech that is available to the public anyway.


It is actually pretty intriguing. I wonder if the patterning of the algorithms would apply to other players using different techniques or the rules are such that it would be applicable to any players using the same rule set.



I do wonder what applications developing this type of adaptive strategy could offer some benefit. :shrug:

Yet, it is a feat of programming.


Most casinos have gone to continuous shuffle multiple deck shoes so the humans who can count cards no longer have an advantage at blackjack. Now you have to remember to check all you poker opponents for a pulse before you sit down for a high stakes game.

Casinos still have a huge advantage by giving gamblers free drinks that may end up costing a lot. Alcohol and good judgment are not compatible. I would have to be really drunk to spend money on slots or keno.


That’s what I was thinking.

closed #11

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