Saturday, 2 May 2015

I for one am not yet ready to greet our poker overlords

While there is little doubt that the Computers v Humans chess race has been run and done (although I have yet to see an official announcement), this means that game developers have moved onto other challenges. Go is still yet to be cracked, although it is starting to get close, while Poker seems to be another area that is gaining in popularity.
There is currently an ongoing match between an poker bot from Carnegie-Mellon and a group of poker professionals, at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburg. The poker game of choice is No-Limit Holdem, which is a more difficult game for computers to master, as a lot of the game involves stack management, rather than just odds calculation.
At the halfway point the computer program, Claudico, is quite a way behind, down around $160,000 against the professional. Each pro will play 20,000 hands against Claudico, and at the end of the tournament will share $100,000 in appearance money. However these seems not to concern the program developers as this exercise is both a competition and a learning experience for the bot. As with a lot of AI bots these days it is designed to evolve its strategy as it plays, so even while it is getting beaten it should be getting stronger.

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