The Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) will play host to the first scientific man versus machine challenge in poker. The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver, B.C., in conjunction with the annual AAAI-07 conference sponsored by the Association.
The competition is scheduled Monday, July 23, from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Regency B room , and Tuesday, July 24, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Plaza B.
Two professional poker players, Phil Laak and Ali Esmali, will play a duplicate match against two copies of the University of Alberta’s Polaris poker program. Poker is a game of skill and luck. A “short’ match, even one of 10,000 hands, may not be enough to identify the better player. There will be four sessions played, each with $5,000 at stake.
In a session, each human plays 500 hands against a copy of Polaris. However, the cards dealt in the first match to the human will be dealt to the computer in the second match, and vice versa. The result of a session is the sum of the two humans’ scores versus the sum of the two programs’ scores. This format, inspired by the rules of duplicate bridge, significantly reduces the luck element, increasing the chances that the best team will win based on skill.
The matches will be played in front of an audience, and the human competitors will be encouraged to think out loud. The result will be entertaining and give insights as to the state of the art in AI technology for a challenging, imperfect information domain.
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