In a recently played game of poker, humans have succeeded in beating artificial intelligence; however, the AI program has lost by a very small margin. It was a battle between the top 4 Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold ’Em players and a computer; the contest continued for two weeks and lasted for 80,000 hands.
It’s true that the human players outdid the AI software called Claudico; however, the contest was a close one. It was close enough for being referred to as a “statistical tie”. The collective winnings of these human players were $732,713 more than that of the amount collected by their digital rival. This amount might appear to be quite big; but, the fact is that it’s just a tiny fraction of the bet of $170 the game was played on.
Tuomas Sandholm, the computer science professor who was in-charge of the development process of the artificial intelligence program, said that he and his team knew that Claudico is currently the strongest digital poker program the world has, but prior to this competition they had no idea how it will be performing when playing against the world’s top ten poker players.
He made it clear that he and his team are not at all ashamed of this defeat of Claudico; for them, managing a statistical tie is also a great achievement.
Tuomas Sandholm teaches computer science at the Carnegie Mellon University.
Among the five players taking part in the contest, the computer was ranked fourth in total winnings. He succeeded is defeating Jason Les. Les is also a big name in this world; during his career, he has earned a total sum of $465,000 for winging poker challenges.
The top position was achieved by Bjorn Li; he collected a total of over $529,000 in chips. The second place was occupied by Doug Polk; he had winnings of $212,671. Dong Kim was placed third with total winnings of $70,491. The payment was made from a cash purse donated by Microsoft Research and Rivers Casino.
Bjorn Li, when asked to comment on his win, said that he is happy that humans are still superior to artificial intelligence.