How computers have (mostly) conquered chess, poker and more | Technology

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Computers have raced toward the future for decades, starting as manual punchcards and now turning the tides on how all of humanity operates. Artificial intelligence is just one field in computing, referring not just to the mechanical guts of our machines but how we can teach machines to reason, strategize, […]

Computers have raced toward the future for decades, starting as manual punchcards and now turning the tides on how all of humanity operates.

Artificial intelligence is just one field in computing, referring not just to the mechanical guts of our machines but how we can teach machines to reason, strategize, and even delay their actions to seem and behave more, well, human. As experts have made more and more powerful AIs, they’ve sought ways to demonstrate how good those AIs are, which can be challenging to do in a relatable, quantifiable way.

Enter the classic game format. Games are tailor-made for AI demonstrations for multiple reasons, as many games are “solvable” (meaning AI can truly master them, mathematically speaking) and their contexts (fast, multifaceted, strategic) can allow programmers to show off truly multidimensional reasoning approaches.

To illustrate this, PokerListings assembled a list of breakthrough gaming wins for AI, from traditional board games to imperfect information games to video games. The games listed here have little in common sometimes apart from the fact that AI can now beat human players at them all. They range from classic analog games like chess and Go to Texas Hold ‘Em poker and today’s most popular multiplayer esports video games.

Keep reading to learn more about the eight significant instances when AIs beat human players at their own game.

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