This AI bot will beat you at poker
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Getty Images Earlier this year, more than a dozen professional poker players participated in an unusual competition of Texas Hold'em. The veterans went against a relative newbie: an artificial intelligence-powered bot built by Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University.
AI has crushed professional players of chess and Go, both board games with straightforward rules. Poker, too, has clear rules. But it's considered trickier because you can't see an opponent's hand and it requires manipulating emotions through tactics such as bluffing. The contest added a layer of complexity, as each game featured six players, creating more sets of scenarios for the AI to manage.
None of that stopped the poker-playing bot Pluribus. The bot stomped on its human challengers, which included World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour champions. Researchers called the bot's performance "superhuman."
"This is the first time an AI bot has proven capable of defeating top professionals in any major benchmark game that has more than two players (or two teams)," Facebook said in a blog post.
Now playing: Watch this: AI bot defeats poker pros in six-player Texas Hold'em 4:50 Pluribus' dominance over the mere mortals represents a breakthrough that might lead to applications of AI in real-world situations. That's because we often deal with multiple people and unknown information when it comes to things like political campaigns, online auctions and cybersecurity threats. AI could help businesses come up with the best strategies to handle those situations, research scientists say.
"We're using poker as a benchmark for a measure in progress in this more complicated challenge of hidden information in a complex multiparticipant environment," said Noam Brown, a research scientist at Facebook AI Research. The research group, which works on advancing AI technology, is also teaching robots to walk on their own.
Brown built Pluribus, which means "more" in Latin, with Tuomas Sandholm, a CMU computer science professor whose team has studied computer poker for more than 16 years. The pair's findings were published in the journal Science on Thursday.
The researchers set up two experiments, one in which a single human played five copies of Pluribus, and another in which five humans played a single copy of the bot. In both cases, Pluribus clearly won.
In the first experiment, Darren Elias and Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, both American poker pros, played 5,000 hands each against five copies of the AI bot. Elias holds the record for most World poker (https://biasakanberjudionline-69.webself.net/) Tour titles and Ferguson has won six World Series of Poker events. The humans played from their home computers.
Both players were offered $2,000 to participate in the Texas Hold'em game. To encourage them to bring their best game, players could win an extra $2,000 if they performed better against the AI than the other human poker player.
Overall, Pluribus beat the players by an average of 32 milli big blinds (mbb) per game.