Poker Playing Robot Comes to Work for the Pentagon

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:

While the U.S. Government is dealing with a partial shutdown, there is a new employee that's coming to work at the Pentagon.  His name is Libratus.


If the name sounds familiar, it's because Libratus roundly defeated four top human players at no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em back in 2017. 

Now his technology will be used in war games and simulations as a means of exploring military strategy and planning.

Latin for balanced—Libratus was created by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University to test ideas for automated decisionmaking based on game theory.  The project was led by professor Tuomas Sandholm, whose startup Strategy Robot will be adapted by the Pentagon.

From Wired.com:

Libratus’ defeat of poker pros in 2017 was seen as a milestone in AI because the card game has complex features lacking in the board games most prominently mastered by computers. In chess and Go, every piece is exposed for both players to see, making them what are called perfect information games. In poker, not all cards are visible, meaning that—as in many real-life scenarios—some information needed to calculate the true state of play is unknown.

Libratus was built on a technology called computational game theory. It won more than $1.8 million in play money from the poker champions by calculating how they might respond to its decisions. The software devised powerful betting strategies and even showed the ability to bluff.

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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