It appears like the US military is set to get some help from Libratus, one of the most popular bots in the country. The game-theory technology used in Libratus could soon be adopted by the country’s defense forces, showing just how powerful and popular the poker robot has turned out to be.
Libratus was put to test in January 2017 when it battled against four poker pros during a 20-day tournament. Each day the robot would review its performance and would try to fix mistakes in its strategy. Libratus would also decipher the moves and techniques of its rivals.
The trial yielded great results. Poker pro Dong Kim, one of Libratus’s human opponents, was amazed by the robot’s ability, saying it was just so good that he felt he was playing with someone who knew his cards.
When the tournament entered its 16th day, Libratus was leading the poker game and when the final battle ended, the robot ultimately won by $1,766,250. Its win rate was approximately 14.7 big blinds per hand.
Kim topped the human poker players, with Daniel MacAulay coming in second, Jimmy Chou landing the 3rd spot and Jason Les finishing in fourth place.
After the trial, Libratus made national headlines, with its unmatched skills being exposed to the world.
Libratus’s Potential Goes Beyond Poker
While Libratus has a great winning ability, what really captures attention is its comprehensive understanding of strategy and game theory. When the robot was still being developed, creators only gave it a description of the game, but it turned out Libratus can actually create a strategy of its own, which can be completely different from that of human players.
The 2017 trial indicated that the potential of Libratus could actually expand beyond poker. Skills such as bluffing and deception can be applicable to military concepts and strategy. With the complex algorithms embedded in Libratus and the exemplary skills it was able to display, the robot could help the US military in enhancing its training exercises and creating a better training regimen.
Regardless of the outcome of the research, it’s encouraging to know how poker techniques and strategy can be applied to higher pursuits. Add to that the fact that government officials are really giving it a go despite some of them not being able to see the valuable lessons everyone can learn from the game itself.