The Frontier for Human vs Artificial Intelligence is at the Casino
Casinos and gambling houses have been a part of human culture and society since the invention of monetary value. Poker has been played for centuries and is a strategy game that is, today, prevalent in most corners of the globe. It is widely assumed that a great poker player is a mix of mathematician, strategist and an expert at reading opponents. It should come as no surprise, then, that artificial intelligence (AI) made to mimic human thinking should be tested on a game such as poker. This also gives the AI a benchmark to assess how well it compares to others, as there’s a clear winner or leader table. Poker Sites research into the growing poker based AI field clearly demonstrates that, the frontier for AI is happening now. It’s in the casino & around the poker table. Here are the key take-away points from the front lines of human vs. AI.
History of Poker Artificial Intelligence
Poker Bots, as Artificial Intelligence in this field are nothing new and have been in development for decades. The first basic poker AI software was developed in 1984, by Mike Caro, to compete in the WSOP (World Series of Poker) and was known as ORAC. By 2008, Polaris, a poker bot designed by University of Alberta’s team was the first semi-successful effort by an AI, competing against 6 human players, beating 3, losing to 2 and drawing against 1. By 2017, Deepstack, another creation from the University of Alberta, was able to beat the pros. This may very well be marking the beginning of the end for humans.
The most advanced poker playing AI to date, Libratus, came on the scene in 2017, and has tipped the scales in favor of AI. The Carnegie Mellon University brainchild is now the best poker player on earth. Libratus was able to beat 4 top players consistently over the course of 120,000 total hands of poker, at an average win rate of $14.72 per hand. This equates to a total winnings of over $1.76 million USD. What is even more alarming is the fact that Libratus only got better and was able to adjust its playing style, isolate opponent weaknesses and bluff professional players.
Advantages of Artificial Intelligence
Aside from the obvious advantages an Artificial Intelligence has over humans, in terms of fatigue or the need to eat and use the bathroom, AI has some key advantages that make it simply unbeatable. AI doesn’t feel the value of money and has no emotions to be affected by tilt, anger or fear risk. AI can also name specific weaknesses in players and exploit them accordingly.
AI Adoption in Gaming
Though these AI Poker bots are capable of amazing things, the average AI available to the public is nowhere near as advanced. A few casinos have begun incorporating Artificial Intelligence to their floors in the form of poker machines. The first known example is at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, where a poker bot is available to play against anyone ready to take it on. Poker Bots remain illegal on 100% of online gambling sites. But considering that Libratus costs upwards of $9 million dollars, its wide-spread integration is still a while away.
The human vs. artificial Intelligence first battles have already taken place and from the looks of it, we humans are fighting a losing battle. One thing is clear, the frontier is at the casino and from there only time will tell where it leads.