New Poker-Playing AI Can Destroy Many Online Companies – So Developers Are Not Releasing It

  • Researchers develop the first AI named Pluribus that can defeat human experts in a multiplayer game. 
  • Although it is specifically designed for the most popular poker format, it can defeat humans in other multiplayer games. 
  • The AI can be used in other fields, including cybersecurity, fraud preventions, pricing products, and routing self-driving vehicles. 

In the recent decade, there have been great strides in artificial intelligence (AI). Games like Go and Chess have become a standard way to evaluate the progress in AI.

So far, almost all AI models have conquered two-player games in which opponents’ moves are clearly visible. The most popular forms of poker, on the other hand, involve multiple players and combine gambling, strategy, and skill.

Now, researchers at Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University have developed an AI bot that can outwit a whole table of poker professionals using strategic settings. This is the first AI bot — named Pluribus — to out-bluff and out-bet human experts in a six-player game, no-limit Hold’em, the most popular format of poker. 

Pluribus played 5,000 hands against poker experts (including two winners of the World Series) and won decisively. The AI was able to adopt impressive strategies (such as donk betting) and bluff like a seasoned pro. 

In fact, it was so successful the developers have decided not to publish its code for fear it could wreck the online poker industry. The algorithm was so strong human experts could not find anything to exploit.

This is the first time AI has defeated top professionals in any benchmark game that has two or more players. The team has been working on this project for years. In 2017, they came up with a bot capable of playing one-on-one poker. Pluribus is a much more complex version of that bot.

Pluribus Is More Than Just Brute Computation

The core of Pluribus’s game-plan is generated via self-play: the algorithm plays against copies of itself and gradually improves as it determines which actions lead to better outcomes.

Reference: ScienceMag | DOI:10.1126/science.aay2400 | Facebook AI

This kind of self-play approach generates a blueprint strategy for the whole game offline. Then during the actual play against humans, the AI improves upon the strategy in real-time by searching for a strategy for similar situations it finds itself in during the game.

Poker-Playing AIPluribus’s blueprint strategy gradually improves during training on a 64-core processor 

The AI is comprised of new online search algorithms to efficiently calculate its options by searching only a limited set of next-moves instead of all possible moves. It also incorporates faster self-play algorithms for games with hidden information.

Together these algorithms enable Pluribus to be trained on a less powerful computer with fewer resources. To put this into context, it requires about $150 worth of cloud computing resources to train Pluribus, whereas other recent AI breakthrough models require millions of dollars’ worth of computing resources to train.

Read: Speedgate | World’s First Sport Invented By Artificial Intelligence

The algorithms used to conquer poker can be implemented in other areas as well, such as pricing products, trading, and routing self-driving vehicles through busy traffic. These algorithms can also be applied to defeat humans in other multiplayer games and to develop more interesting computer games.

Written by
Varun Kumar

I am a professional technology and business research analyst with more than a decade of experience in the field. My main areas of expertise include software technologies, business strategies, competitive analysis, and staying up-to-date with market trends.

I hold a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. If you'd like to learn more about my latest projects and insights, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email at [email protected].

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  • The possibilities of artificial intelligence are truly endless. At the moment, artificial intelligence is able to beat living people in many games. The most important thing is the possibility of self-learning a computer program. With each game, the program becomes more perfect.

  • Christopher Walker says:

    I really liked the topic of artificial intelligence. I would like to get more knowledge in this area. If it is possible to beat a slot machine in an online casino in Poland using a program, this will be of interest to many users. It is always necessary to acquire new knowledge and develop.

    • The desire to gain new knowledge deserves respect. Especially in such a promising area as artificial intelligence. Becoming a specialist in this area is very good for anyone. It will be possible to earn excellent money and provide for yourself for many years. Information about artificial intelligence can be found in different sources.

    • Personally, I don’t think this is a good solution. It is terrifying to imagine if artificial intelligence were actually used everywhere. After that, it would be impossible to play in online casinos, because the artificial intelligence would always win. It’s terrifying to think how many people will lose all their money for nothing. But they are very gamblers and put a lot of money into these games. Personally, this news just made me sad.