AI defeats human again: Libratus won it’s four human rivals

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An AI called Libratus defeated four of the world’s top Texas Hold’Em poker players after 20 days and 120,000 hands. Libratus was backed a computer that supplied around 25 million computational hours. This, just like the match between Alpha GO and human was a battle pitting man against machine, and eventually, the machine won.

The competition, called Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante, took place at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh starting from January 11. Libratus defeated its four human opponents with an average daily win of $206,061 and a grand total win on a hefty $1,766,250 in virtual funds.

Libratus is the brainchild of Professor Tuomas Sandholm and Ph.D. student Noam Brown from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science and uses the Bridges computer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center for its computation needs. It was created to play Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker and it doesn’t rely on the experience of expert human players but instead, consists of algorithms that create a strategy based on an analysis of the rules and the opponents.

Algorithms used by Libratus weren’t developed specifically for poker, this enables the Libratus to thoroughly analyze any situation where information is misleading or incomplete. The algorithms it uses could also be used at auctions and during business transactions.

From the looks, the human players were at a disadvantage, while they slept at night, the Bridges computer performed computations based on the previous day’s gameplay results, sharpening Libratus’ strategy. This is because The Bridges computer provided Libratus with around 25 million core hours of computations and also supplied live computations to Libratus during the games as well.

By the ninth day of the competition, Libratus had already gained the lead with $459,154 in virtual chips. At the time, Jimmy “ForTheSwaRMm” Chou acknowledged that Libratus “it’s like a tougher version of us,” he admitted that the AI was getting better at the game every day.

Over the course of 20 days, machine and man played 120,000 hands of Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker. The other three human players included Dong “Donger Kim” Kim, Jason “PremiumWhey” Les, and Daniel “Dougiedan678” McAulay. All four are considered as some of the world’s top players of Texas Hold’em.

This is the first time that AI has been able to beat the best humans at Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em. More generally, this shows that the best AI’s ability to do strategic reasoning under imperfect information has surpassed that of the best humans. –  Sandholm

Expressive how he felt Chou said “I really felt this bot was exploiting me [in certain poker situations],” Les also said that while Libratus kept changing its overall strategy throughout the competition, the AI seemed capable of adjusting its strategy against the individual players too. Even though the human players gathered together each night to create strategies for thwarting Libratus the next day, the AI still won.

AI winning the Poker game shows how far Artificial Intelligence has gone. Artificial Intelligence has gone beyond just Arithmetic, but now thinks like humans do, calculating, learning (even from mistakes) and creating even more complex moves. The future of AI is unpredictable, experts say AI will create a better earth making work easier, tech giants such as Bill Gates, Elon Musk and also Stephen Hawking warns that it could bring an end to humanity. A machine made can make even smarter versions of itself and could sometimes turn rebellious.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, an ideal “intelligent” machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal. Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”. As machines become increasingly capable, mental facilities once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition


Libratus is an artificial intelligence computer program designed to play Poker, specifically no-limit Texas hold ’em. While Libratus was written from scratch, it is the nominal successor of Claudico. Like its predecessor, its name is a Latin expression and means ‘balanced’. Libratus was built with more than 15 million core hours of computation as compared to 2-3 million for Claudico. The computations were carried out on the new ‘Bridges’ supercomputer at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. According to one of Libratus’ creators, Professor Tuomas Sandholm, Libratus does not have a fixed built-in strategy, but an algorithm that computes the strategy. The technique involved is a new variant of counterfactual regret minimization.

As Libratus plays only against one other human or computer player, the special ‘heads up’ rules for two-player Texas hold ’em are enforced.



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