Humans Beat Computers in Poker Match

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Reading this story put a picture in my mind of Kara Thrace playing cards against a group of Cylons and winning. In real life, humans narrowly beat the computer in a poker match.

Scientists had billed the competition as a milestone for computer artificial intelligence, similar to the 1997 match in which a computer named Deep Blue beat Russian genius Garry Kimovich Kasparov at chess.

Darse Billings, a one-time professional poker player and lead architect of the Polaris team at the University of Alberta, said even though the program lost in the end it played “brilliantly.”

Polaris showed scientists that it is possible for a computer to do well at the essentially psychological game of poker, he said…

Poker is a special challenge for computers — which can already consistently beat humans at chess, checkers and backgammon — because the gambling game includes deliberate deception, unpredictable emotions of opponents and elements of chance as well as mathematics.

It’s good to see that there’s still one game in which we can beat machines–for now.

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