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In major AI win, Libratus beats four top poker pros

Thor Olavsrud | Feb. 2, 2017
Libratus, artificial intelligence developed by Carnegie Mellon University, has beaten four of the best heads-up no-limit Texas hold'em poker players in the world in a 20-day competition. Its mastery of imperfect information suggests a multitude of real-world applications.

"We designed Bridges to converge high-performance computing and artificial intelligence," Nystrom said. "Libratus' win is an important milestone toward developing AIs to address complex, real-world problems. At the same time, Bridges is powering new discoveries in the physical sciences, biology, social science, business and even the humanities. With its unique emphasis on usability, new projects are always welcome."

Using Bridges' compute power, the Libratus algorithm identified its own weaknesses day-by-day and improved itself.

"After play ended each day, a meta-algorithm analyzed what holes the pros had identified and exploited in Libratus' strategy," Sandholm explained. "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."

Now that the competition is over, Sandholm said he plans to share all of the AIs secrets. He plans to begin with talks at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence meeting, Feb. 4-9, in San Francisco. He also plans to submit to peer-reviewed scientific conferences and journals.

He also noted that he will continue his research on the core technologies involved in solving imperfect information games and applying these technologies to real-world problems. That includes his work with Optimized Markets, a company he founded to automate negotiations.


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