Artificial intelligence (AI) programs have bested humans in checkers, chess, go and two-player poker, but multiplayer poker was always believed to be a bigger ask. Now: Mission accomplished.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, working with Facebook’s AI initiative, on Thursday announced that their program defeated a group of top professionals in six-player no-limit Texas Hold’em.
The program, Pluribus, and its big wins were described in the US journal Science.
“Pluribus achieved superhuman performance at multiplayer poker, which is a recognized milestone in artificial intelligence and in game theory,” Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Tuomas Sandholm said.
Sandholm worked with Noam Brown, who is working at Facebook AI while completing his doctorate at the Pittsburgh-based university.
“Thus far, superhuman AI milestones in strategic reasoning have been limited to two-party competition,” Sandholm said in a statement released by the school.
According to the creators of Pluribus, the technology could be used to solve a “wide variety of real-world problems” that, like in poker, involve actors who bluff, or hide key information.
The program first defeated two major poker champions, Darren Elias and Chris Ferguson, who each played 5,000 hands against it. Pluribus then took on 13 pros in a separate experiment, five at a time.
In a total of 10,000 hands, the program “emerged victorious,” researchers said.
First, the program practiced against itself, learning little by little how to use poker moves to best advantage. Surprises cropped up.
“Its major strength is its ability to use mixed strategies,” Elias said. “That’s the same thing that humans try to do. It’s a matter of execution for humans — to do this in a perfectly random way and to do so consistently. Most people just can’t.”
One surprise was that Pluribus used “donk betting” — ending one round with a call and starting the next with a bet — far more than the pros, who traditionally see the move as weak.
Brown even ventured to say that some of the program’s strategies “might even change the way pros play the game.”
Taiwanese badminton ace Tai Tzu-ying was knocked out of the Malaysia Open yesterday, losing her women’s singles semi-final against Chen Yufei of China 19-21, 21-13, 21-15. Despite two previous victories for second-seeded Tai against Chen this season — including her win in the final of the Thailand Open — fourth-seeded Chen dispatched the world No. 2 in 1 hour, 8 minutes at Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena, securing a spot in the Super 750 tournament’s final. Tai won the opening game of the last-four matchup, scoring two consecutive points after the score was tied 19-19. However, she had a horrific points drought after the
Taipei Municipal Fulin Elementary School’s baseball team yesterday beat South Korea in the regional final to win the right to represent the Asia-Pacific region in this year’s Little League Baseball World Series. The Taiwan team’s 1-0 victory over hosts South Korea was largely down to the excellent performance of starting pitcher Liao Kuan-shu, who pitched six scoreless innings, in which he only gave up two hits at Hwaseong Dream Park in South Korea. After Taiwan earned a single in the bottom of the second inning, Liao in the third hit a two-out double, helping to eke out a 1-0 victory, as they
Tai Tzu-ying yesterday was Taiwan’s final hope at the Petronas Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur, advancing to quarter-finals of the women’s singles with a decisive win over Kristin Kuuba of Estonia. The world No. 2 and second-seeded Tai crushed world No. 51 Kuuba 21-11, 21-9 in their second-round match, which lasted about 30 minutes, at the Super 750 tournament at the Axiata Arena. In the opener, Tai shot ahead 11-8 at the mid-game interval, with Kuuba starved after the break, scoring one point as the Taiwanese hit five consecutive winners to bound to 16-9. Kuuba rallied to gain two more points, but Tai
Brandon Brown wanted a way to change the narrative behind the “Let’s go, Brandon” message after his first career NASCAR victory inadvertently fostered a chant that has been used to insult US President Joe Biden. Brown found that new message thanks to the family of an eight-year-old boy with autism. Brandon Brundidge of Cottage Grove, Minnesota, was on a spring-break trip to Houston in March when he saw signs with the “Let’s go, Brandon” phrase. He believed they were meant to encourage him, and consequently started trying activities he never attempted before, such as learning to swim and removing the training wheels