Libratus, an artificial intelligence system built by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, beat four professional poker players in a 20-day tournament that ended Tuesday, according to media reports.
Libratus won $1,766,250 in chips over 120,000 hands. Researchers said they were 99.7% sure that the AI victory was not coincidental.
"The best AI's ability to do strategic reasoning with imperfect information has now surpassed that of the best humans," said Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science at CMU who created Libratus along with PhD student Noam Brown.
If you’re worried about a 'machine vs. humans' scenario becoming reality, now’s the time to get really concerned. Computers have started to have more impactful victories over the years, beating humans in checkers, chess, and other games. Last March, AI-based AlphaGo defeated one of the top Go players in the world for the first, and continued to have more high-profile victories.
Poker is a whole different ballgame because it’s considered an "imperfect information game." If AI can master poker, nothing really seems out of reach in terms of AI mastery.
The victory also proves how far AI has come in a short time. Just two years ago, an earlier AI system called Claudico lost decisively to human poker players. But Libratus leverages newer, more advanced algorithms, and can even learn from its mistakes and constantly improve its own play.