AI Against Humans; Could Replace Skilled Human Beings

Developing artificial intelligence – otherwise known by the acronym AI – is something that technology engineers have been passionate about for a number of years now. The idea of AI used to be fodder for sci-fi movies, but in recent years we have seen major strides forward in this area of tech and it is now very much a reality. In order to test out the artificial intelligences that they have created, tech experts have been putting them up against skilled human beings to find out how they cope, with a couple of recent examples of this seeing AIs taking on human players at poker.

The first of these poker match-ups saw an AI called Libratus, which is the creation of the Carnegie Mellon University tech researchers defeat four high ranking human poker professionals across a tournament lasting for 20 days. Entitled ‘The Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence’, the human players that were willing to stake their reputations – although not actually their money – against the AI were Jason Les, Daniel McAulay, Jimmy Chou and Dong Kim. In the end they were probably glad that real money was not being used for this competition, as Libratus came out on top to the tune of $1.7 million. The players spent 11 gruelling hours a day playing Texas Hold’em poker while sat in front of computers to make the idea work, but could not compete with Libratus’s tactical flexibility – leading some poker pros to suggest that the university researchers were tampering with it during the evening, after play finished – although this was hotly denied and there was no evidence supporting it.

However, they can take some consolation from the fact that this is not the only time that AI has proven superior to human intelligence, with the AlphaGo AI developed by DeepMind besting top ranking ‘Go’ player Lee Sedol at his own chosen game last year. Despite Sedol’s previous triumphs in this fiendishly tough game, AlphaGo claimed a comfortable 4-1 victory across five matches. Furthermore, six years ago an AI named Watson claimed winnings of $40,300 in the US game show Jeopardy. This was an exhibition match and saw Watson – created by IBM – competing against four US congressmen. They won $30,000 between them, which is certainly not a trifling sum, but it still put them well behind Watson when it comes to winnings.

These examples certainly demonstrate that artificial intelligence is here to stay, even if it does not quite replace the human mind at the moment, and it could become part of the set-up at online casino sites and other parts of the gaming sector. It certainly presents intriguing possibilities and who would not want to try and beat the very best in AI technology.