The AI supercomputer and the pro gamblers battle

Hollywood is mainly responsible for imagining a robot uprising, fueled by the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to wipe out the entire humanity. We’ve seen this kind of thing in movies like The Terminator, Blade Runner, and The Matrix. All of them seem to communicate a common message – that one of our very own creations could finish us some day.

But this is not likely to happen in the meantime. Instead, these machines will be used to beat human players at casinos like Euro Palace casino. At least that is the message we are getting from recent news that a robot called Libratus beat professional poker players at Rivers casino in Pittsburg. This is the first time that AI supercomputers have been used to beat the human player at his own game, and so this is definitely news that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Brain vs Artificial Intelligence supercomputer

Something close to this happened in 1996 when an IBM computer called Deep Blue was used to defeat chess champion Garry Kasparov. It took over 2 decades for robots to turn their attention to casinos. Before the pros at Rivers Casino were defeated by Libratus, the world didn’t believe that it would be possible to beat professional human players in casino games. In fact, if you asked this question five years ago, most (if not all) people would give you a resounding ‘No’ answer. But that is not the case today.

The first battle against human players was lost

The first competition between human and AI supercomputers happened in April 2015. The software, dubbed Claudico, was programmed by a team of scientists from Carnegie Mellon University (CMG).

The tournament lasted 13 days, and humans emerged winners in the end. The robot lost big time since humans scooped over 732,000 chips more than what Claudico could garner. This team of scientists had to go back to the drawing board to create an AI supercomputer that would overcome the human player. Two years later, they introduced the successor of Claudico, dubbed Libratus.

It was the second time that the human player had a feasible opponent in an AI robot, and this means that a rematch was imminent. Thankfully, two of the original poker players who had previously defeated Claudico showed up for the tournament. But this time, the software emerged victorious with a win of $1.5 million.

How the software was able to win, and why it matters

This victory against humans marks an important step in how interconnected systems are undergoing evolution. The team of scientists who created Libratus software incorporated AI into the system, thus it was able to analyze the rules and form a winning strategy.

The concept of Libratus could be applied to many real life situations, ranging from controlling traffic, medical supplies to trading stocks and so much more. If you look at the best 5 books every casino player needs to read, you will discover that indeed the industry has mixed feelings on whether or not AI will be good for playing casino games. It could create conflict of interest as this could be totally unfair to the casinos.

In fact, we are convinced that even if this system was released to poker players today, most casinos, including Euro Palace casino, would be reluctant to accept it, otherwise they would go bankrupt. It’s a way of cheating the system so to speak. Ultimately, the argument of whether or not Libratus will be good for the casino industry is something that can be considered extremely complex in its present form.

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