An artificial bluff

By | Science & Technology
Libratus developers Prod. Tuomas Sandholm and Ph.D. student Noam Brown stad between the 4 Texas Hold 'em Poker specialists. Credit@2017 Rivers Casino. All rights reserved.

The term artificial intelligence or A.I, as it’s often abbreviated, is used to describe a form of intelligence demonstrated by computer systems. This definition seems to draw a parallel between simulated intelligence and human intelligence. As the human brain may be our closest reference for intelligence, capable of possessing a variety of traits including the ability for understanding, problem-solving and learning; scientists have attempted to recreate this intelligence within a computer system. In order to replicate the intelligence of the human brain, scientists may be required to understand how information is taken in and processed, along with the intricacies of the mind which facilitate more complex levels of cognition. Simulating intelligence within an inanimate object is an area of computer science which seems to continually evolve as new milestones are achieved. Recently, there has been a new milestone achieved in the field of artificial intelligence and one which may serve to bring computers closer to the goal of general artificial intelligence.

Through offering inanimate objects intelligence, computer programs and robotics may have the ability to make informed decisions without human aid. Artificial intelligence is a concept which may have existed for several years, yet, as technology continues to improve, more noteworthy advancements seem to be made within this field. These advancements may have taken several steps forward in recent years, with IBM’s Watson demonstrating cognitive technology and an ability to understand, reason, learn and interact independently. In 2011, IBM’s artificial intelligence publicly demonstrated it’s cognitive abilities during the quiz show Jeopardy! Watson was able to triumph over the top Jeopardy! Human opponents in a game which require analysing of subtle meanings, irony, riddles and other complexities.

Artificial intelligence continues to make advancements with the latest being an AI named Libratus from Carnegie Mellon University. Designed by two researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Libratus recently challenged and triumphed over, four professional poker players in a series of Texas Hold ‘em games. Based in the United States city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private, internationally ranked research University with programs covering science, technology, and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts.

120,000 Hands of Texas Hold 'em were played to test the cognitive algorithms of the Artificial Intelligence Libratus. credit@Pixabay.

120,000 Hands of Texas Hold ’em were played to test the cognitive algorithms of the Artificial Intelligence Libratus. credit@Pixabay.

It was computer science Prof. Tuomas Sandholm and Ph.D. student Noam Brown who were the minds behind Libratus’ creation. Libratus was designed to use a series of algorithims in order to simulate intelligence and make informed decisions. During a Texas Hold ‘em Poker game hosted at the Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh, 120,000 hands Texas hold ‘em took place. Libratus used its complex algorithms to analyse the rules of Poker and set its own strategy, which according to the statistics from the Carnegie Mellon University, were based on approximately 15 million core hours of computation at the Pittsburgh Supercomputer Centre (PSC). Libratus challenged four professional poker players, each a Texas Hold ‘em specialist: Dong Kim, Jason Les, Jimmy Chou and Daniel Mcaulay.

The artificial intelligence algorithms programmed into Libratus may have the ability to triumph over human opponents in a game of poker, yet the algorithms which allow Libratus to simulate cognition may support tasks beyond this.  This may allow Libratus to be used in several fields outside of Poker, such as business negotiation, medicine, cybersecurity, auctions and more. Libratus’s triumph over the professional poker players marks the latest breakthrough in artificial intelligence. This marks the latest milestone for artificial intelligence and brings the concept of general artificial intelligence, an AI with the ability to address any situation it’s presented with, one step closer. With its advanced algorithms and ability to learn, it’s possible more systems like Libratus may appear in a variety of fields and implemented in new and innovative ways.

How might the success of Libratus mark the latest achievement for Artificial intelligence?

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