Man vs. Machine Steps up to the Table

24th Jul 2007

An astonishing tournament is about to take place in Vancouver as two of the worlds top poker players, Phil Laak and Ali Eslami, are set to compete against a super computer. The two-day, four game match of Texas Hold’em, is being dubbed by scientists as the first ever man vs. machine poker bout

The subject, Polaris, will play four games of Texas Hold Em against the two pro’s from LA, who are up among the top ranked poker players in the worldwide high-stakes cash circuit. The event, which will run from Monday to Tuesday, will earn the humans $5,000 for each game they take against Polaris.

Both men are taken part in this tournament as they are interested in the artificial intelligence of Polaris and wish to be a piece of history. This man vs. machine poker game is being built up as one of the highlights of the annual global conference of the AAAI – Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. An organiser of the event said that more than 1,000 scientists of universities and corporations pre-registered to see this event.

Before now, scientists had already developed computers capable of beating humans at a number of games including chess and backgammon, but if Polaris wins this game of poker, which of course, requires a tremendous psychological approach of bluffing, emotions and intentional deception to win, it would be a major landmark for the scientific progress in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

The event is being built up as comparison to the 1997 chess competition between Russian chess legend Garry Kimovich Kasparov and the IBM machine, Deep Blue. The computer took victory, making headlines around the world and famously changing the world’s perceptions of computers.

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