Human Pros Dominating Poker AI
May 01, 2015      

Claudico uses a variant of the algorithm developed by Burch to account for gargantuan amounts of complexity by representing the number of possible decisions in a simpler form. Claudico also updates its strategy as it goes along, but its basic approach to the game involves getting into every hand by calling bets.

“Poker is now a benchmark for artificial intelligence research, just as chess once was,” says Sandholm. “It’s a game of exceeding complexity that requires a machine to make decisions based on incomplete and often misleading information, thanks to bluffing, slow play and other decoys. And to win, the machine has to out-smart its human opponents.”

Fans can watch the pros live every day from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. in Levels Lounge at Rivers Casino, or tune in to the live stream on Twitch. Play will continue in two sessions of 750 – 800 hands per day, with one day set aside on Sunday, May 3, so the human players can rest. The winner and final standings of the competition will be announced on Friday, May 8.

“I give the pros a lot of credit for their stamina and good humor throughout the competition,” says Rivers Casino General Manager Craig Clark. “Doug, Dong, Bjorn and Jason have been having fun along the way and whether you’re watching it on property or online, they’re answering questions and making sure viewers are engaged.”

The competition was designed to ensure that the outcome is scientifically significant and not a result of luck. In addition to the large number of hands, the players are paired to play duplicate matches – Player A will receive the same cards as the computer receives against Player B, and vice versa. One of the human players is in isolation, to prevent any comparison of the cards. The same arrangement applies to Players C and D.

“Playing Claudico has been unlike any other game I’ve ever played,” Polk says. “I’ve been taking notes along the way when it makes a move that I wasn’t expecting so that I can continue to improve my strategy and make sure I walk away with a win.”

The competition continues Carnegie Mellon’s pioneering research in artificial intelligence, which began with the creation of the first AI program, Logic Theorist, in 1956. The top-ranked School of Computer Science includes the world’s first Machine Learning Department and some of the world’s leading scientists in computational game theory, market design, natural language processing, computer vision, speech translation, thought identification and collaboration among intelligent agents.