AI beats human professionals in 6-player poker

Texas: An artificial intelligence (AI) programme has defeated leading professionals in six-player no-limit Texas hold’em poker, the world’s most popular form of poker, researchers said on Friday.

Developed by Carnegie Mellon University in the US and Facebook AI, the programme called Pluribus defeated poker professional Darren Elias, who holds the record for most World Poker Tour titles, and Chris Ferguson, winner of six World Series of Poker events.

Each pro separately played 5,000 hands of poker — a family of card games that combines gambling, strategy, and skill — against five copies of Pluribus, according to a research paper published in the journal Science.

In another experiment involving 13 pros, all of whom have won more than $1 million playing poker, Pluribus played five pros at a time for a total of 10,000 hands and again emerged victorious.

“Pluribus achieved superhuman performance at multi-player poker, which is a recognised milestone in artificial intelligence and in game theory that has been open for decades,” said Tuomas Sandholm, a professor who developed Pluribus with Noam Brown, a PhD candidate at Carnegie Mellon.

“Thus far, superhuman AI milestones in strategic reasoning have been limited to two-party competition. The ability to beat five other players in such a complicated game opens up new opportunities to use AI to solve a wide variety of real-world problems,” Sandholm said.

“Playing a six-player game rather than head-to-head requires fundamental changes in how the AI develops its playing strategy,” said Brown, who is associated with Facebook AI. “We’re elated with its performance and believe some of Pluribus’ playing strategies might even change the way pros play the game,” Brown said.

Pluribus’ algorithms also created surprising features into its strategy.

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