Nautilus

Computers Beat Humans at Poker. Next Up: Everything Else?

 

Just a human: Libratus’s success in poker is yet another triumph for artificial intelligence over the species that created it. Photograph by arsenik/Getty

Over the span of 20 days early this year, artificial intelligence encountered a major test of how well it can tackle problems in the real world. A program called Libratus took on four of the best poker players in the country, at a tournament at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were playing a form of poker called heads-up no-limit Texas hold ‘em, where two players face off, often online, in a long series of hands, testing each other’s strategies, refining their own, and bluffing like mad. After 120,000 hands, Libratus emerged with an overwhelming victory over all four opponents, winning

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus5 min readPsychology
It Takes A Village To Raise A Meerkat: What the rare cooperative species tells us about ourselves.
Living in the flat, arid landscape of the Kalahari, meerkats are one of the most cooperative species of mammal on the planet. The scarcity of food and few places to hide from predators has led them to live in groups where they share the tasks of fora
Nautilus5 min readScience
Think You Know the Definition of a Black Hole? Think Again
When I was 12, I made the mistake of watching the Paul W. S. Anderson horror film, Event Horizon. It gave me nightmares for weeks: The movie’s title refers to an experimental spaceship that could create artificial black holes through which to travel,
Nautilus10 min read
The Computer Maverick Who Modeled the Evolution of Life: Nils Aall Barricelli showed that organisms evolved by symbiosis and cooperation.
In 1953, at the dawn of modern computing, Nils Aall Barricelli played God. Clutching a deck of playing cards in one hand and a stack of punched cards in the other, Barricelli hovered over one of the world’s earliest and most influential computers, th