Was this the last human to beat an AI at Poker?

Posted: 17 October 2017 | By Karhik Reddy

Ever since the inception of Artificial Intelligence, humans have been in a constant battle with the modern thinking-machines. AI has touched many industries, by showing outstanding results and even outperforming humans.

As statistics show, 62% of millennials aged 17-24 and 35% of people over 55 trust the super abilities and the future of AI. It is also interesting that 71% of people over 50 believe that intelligent virtual assistants will simplify their lives in the future.

Meanwhile, the history of the Brains vs AI battle contains many examples of where one defeats the other. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant:

The battlefield

Games, such as Chess, Scrabble, Othello, Go, and even Jeopardy, that are measures of human intellect have long-since been conquered by machines. IBM’s “Deep Blue” machine, born in the labs of Carnegie Mellon University, beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov in the World Chess Championship of 1997.

Developed by computer science doctoral students Feng-hsiung Hsu and Thomas Anantharaman, “Deep Blue” still is considered the best chess player in history.

Then, Lee Sedol, the best “Go” player in the world, was defeated by Google’s AlphaGo AI. IBM supercomputer Watson defeated two “Jeopardy” champions in 2011.

The most recent breakthrough in AI’s history of success is the defeat of 4 poker world champions by Libratus AI in the most difficult Poker variant called Heads-Up No-Limit-Hold’em.

Libratus won the “Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence” tournament of 2017 by $1,766,250 in chips over 120,000 hands. Tuomas Sandholm, a professor of computer science, and Noam Brown, a Ph.D. student in computer science both from Carnegie Mellon University, are the proud parents of Libratus AI. The adjective “proud” could be an understatement here, don’t you agree?

Humans hold their own (sometimes)

Yet, there are also numerous cases where humans did not let AI get the upperhand. In 2007, Poker pro Ali Eslami was over $800 by the mid-point of the session with Polaris poker bot and finished at $395 ahead. In 2015, Michael Bowling played against Cepheus poker bot online and won both 100 hand matches in blind-squirrel fashion.

That was when the probability of being ahead of Cepheus Poker bot after 100 hands was 46%.

Next, Doug Polk had a $400,368 lead against Claudico AI in the first week of the competition.

We really shouldn’t underestimate the power of the human mind.

While the Brains vs AI battle will continue to heat up in the future, one thing is obvious. To choose a winner in this battle is a hard thing to do.  Have you ever wondered if the Brains vs AI battle is actually legitimate? In the end, it is us, humans, who have created AI. Isn’t it?

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