Polaris Poker AI Defeats Humans, Rakes In $195K

Polaris, the poker-playing artificial intelligence program decisively defeated human poker champs at one of its favorite games of chance at the Man-Machine Poker Competition in Las Vegas.

Polaris is a Texas hold'em poker playing program developed at the University of Alberta over the last sixteen years. Polaris is a composite artificial intelligence, consisting of a number of bots including HyperBorean07.

"There are two really big changes in Polaris over last year," said professor Michael Bowling, who supervised graduate students who programmed Polaris. "First of all, our poker model is much expanded over last year--its much harder for humans to exploit weaknesses. And secondly, we have added an element of learning, where Polaris identifies which common poker stratagy a human is using and switches its own strategy to counter. This complicated the human players ability to compare notes, since Polaris chose a different strategy to use against each of the humans it played," Bowling said.

Poker champs fought the AI system to a draw, then won in the first two of four rounds (each round had Polaris playing 500 hands against two humans, whose points were averaged.) But in the final two rounds of the match, Polaris beat both human teams, two wins out of four, with one loss and one draw.

The apparently composite nature of the Polaris program reminds me of the city fathers, a group of artificially intelligent computers from James Blish's 1957 novel tetralogy Cities in Flight.

Read more about poker bots. Also, take a look at REEM-A Chess-Playing Robot and read about the chess computer that beat Deep Blue and tied Gary Kasparov.

Story via AI beats human poker champions.

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