Archives
Sep 1999
Oct 1999
Nov 1999
Dec 1999
Jan 2000
Feb 2000
Mar 2000
Apr 2000
May 2000
Jun 2000
Jul 2000
Aug 2000
Sep 2000
Oct 2000
Nov 2000
Dec 2000
Jan 2001
Feb 2001
Mar 2001
Apr 2001
May 2001
Jun 2001
Jul 2001
Aug 2001
Sep 2001
Oct 2001
Nov 2001
Dec 2001
Jan 2002
Feb 2002
Mar 2002
Apr 2002
May 2002
Jun 2002
Jul 2002
Aug 2002
Sep 2002
Oct 2002
Nov 2002
Dec 2002
Jan 2003
Feb 2003
Mar 2003
Apr 2003
May 2003
Jun 2003
Jul 2003
Aug 2003
Sep 2003
Oct 2003
Nov 2003
Dec 2003
Jan 2004
Feb 2004
Mar 2004
Apr 2004
May 2004
Jun 2004
Jul 2004
Aug 2004
Sep 2004
Oct 2004
Nov 2004
Dec 2004
Jan 2005
Feb 2005
Mar 2005
Apr 2005
May 2005
Jun 2005
Jul 2005
Aug 2005
Sep 2005
Oct 2005
Nov 2005
Dec 2005
Jan 2006
Feb 2006
Mar 2006
Apr 2006
May 2006
Jun 2006
Jul 2006
Aug 2006
Sep 2006
Oct 2006
Nov 2006
Dec 2006
Jan 2007
Feb 2007
Mar 2007
Apr 2007
May 2007
Jun 2007
Jul 2007
Aug 2007
Sep 2007
Oct 2007
Nov 2007
Dec 2007
Jan 2008
Feb 2008
Mar 2008
Apr 2008
May 2008
Jun 2008
Jul 2008
Aug 2008
Sep 2008
Oct 2008
Nov 2008
Dec 2008
Jan 2009
Feb 2009
Mar 2009
Apr 2009
May 2009
Jun 2009
Jul 2009
Aug 2009
Sep 2009
Oct 2009
Nov 2009
Dec 2009
Jan 2010
Aug 2010
Sep 2010
Oct 2010
Nov 2010
Dec 2010
Feb 2011
Mar 2011
Apr 2011
May 2011
Sep 2011
Oct 2011
Nov 2011
Feb 2012
Mar 2012
May 2012
Apr 2023
May 2023
Jun 2023
Jul 2023

Aug
26
2005
The AI that breaks the Turing barrier might be a gambler: poker-playing 'bots are gambling online. For new technology to expand, there has to be a moneymaking reason. Up until now, there's been nothing that a person can't do that required a person-imitating machine...well, until online gambling.

In all industries, there has to be a good reason to replace a person with a computer or machine; robots have moved into hazardous and low-error-tolerance businesses, computers do big-math accounting and repetitive menial tasks. However, they can't replace jobs that require a human's unique talents: judges, police, teachers (no matter how tantilizing the idea is in Sci-Fi). Robots even replace eBay buyers: 'sniper software' removes a person's presence at the time an auction closes.

This is because at eBay, from a server's standpoint, the only things that place bids are computer programs. I don't place eBay bids: I fill in browser blanks, which inform eBay of my bid. A computer can be programmed to do the exact same thing at any time: online investment sites provide these programs. There's even a commercial for Ameritrade about a dead guy who, technically, is still trading stocks -- his grieving family logs on to his account to see his porfolio, which displays active trades as they watch. Well, it's not him trading, exactly, but a 'bot that he assigned criteria, by which is analyzes stock reports day and night, and acts in a way the programmer wishes it to. Online investment sites are looked down upon if they can't provide this service. If a computer can get people the things they want without requiring extra effort on the person's part, then software will be assigned complete responsibility without hesitation.

I'll be honest, it never crossed my mind that online gambling would be a venue for AI, but now I'm kicking myself for not having thought of it. Rain Man counted cards like a computer -- why not have a COMPUTER count cards like a computer? However, there's no sense in pitting a computer against a computer...online blackjack, for instance. Two computers can only compete against each other, to a point; after which, it's two related systems reacting to feedback. Blackjack favors the house, so there's no chance for really winning. Roulette, one-armed-bandits, craps...if both sides are computer generated, unless there's a loophole or exploit, nothing significant will happen.

Poker, on the other hand, is merely server-supervised. The pot isn't designed by the casino's servers, nor are the competitor's actions. If we can program a computer to beat chess masters, a poker game with significantly less play-moves and no cut-and-dried 'win' should be simpler: you don't need to have all the aces, you just have to be better than the other hands at the table. You don't need to take every pot; you just need to take in more than you're betting out. A bot, equipped with superhuman ability to calculate odds, has a significant edge on the competition. How do you bluff a computer?

Well, chatting will blow the computer's bluff. While a computer can play poker like a pro, it can't talk across the table like a pro. The other players will quickly catch on that the super-silent opponent who wins all the time probably isn't a real person. Accounts get deleted that way. Money is lost that way. Opponents are wary of betting if they think a computer has been programmed to take it away from them without giving them a fighting chance.

So, now we have something computers can do better at than a human, but a Holy Grail of technology is needed...Artificial Intelligence. Winning an odds-based game is a matter of mathematic probability (it can be taught to a spam filter) -- but an advantage can be gained from talking to the opponents, gauging their mindset. An advantage can be gained by lying to the opponents, projecting either an air of hopelessness or certain success. A bot, however, can't succeed at reading players or lying to players if they're not as convincing as a human sitting across the table. If a simple bot today, programmed to reduce risk of exposing itself and to keep winnings to an unsuspicious level, is profitable to both the software customer and the software company -- getting everyone what they want, without significant effort on the people's time -- the house busts and everybody wins, so to speak.

Well, the house won't like that much -- but the better that bots get at beating Turing tests (that, no doubt, will become harder for certain humans to pass, if designed to catch 'bots), there's no doubt that, someday, an online poker table will be occupied by 5 different bots, by 5 different makers, each with a specialized set of instructions tuned by their owners, competing for real money. Once a computer beats the Turing test, who's to say it'll want to play poker anymore?

No comments at this time.


Your Name:
Email:
Webpage:
Your comment:



blog advertising is good for you
Looking For "Wookies"?