We may joke about welcoming our robot overlords, but computers are finding ways to steal the glory from humans, especially when it comes to games.
We may have invented chess, Go, "Jeopardy," and poker, but artificial intelligence systems have gotten so smart that our human minds are no longer the ultimate champions. Here are three prime examples of just how far Artificial Intelligence has come.
1. An AI poker ace
One of the most recent cases of computers proving their gaming superiority comes from Carnegie Mellon University, which announced that its Liberatus artificial intelligence beat a group of top poker professionals at the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh in January.
The 20-day competition even had a fun name: "Brains Vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante." Liberatus didn't just win, it wiped out the other players. The competition included 120,000 hands of Texas Hold'em. The money tally at the end found Liberatus leading the humans by $1,766,250 in chips.
Liberatus didn't just get by on a good poker face and luck. The computer scientists in charge of Liberatus monitored the system as it analyzed its own performance every night during the tournament and then worked to fix any problems in its game. This ability to learn and adapt was key to the AI's winning strategy.
"The best AI's ability to do strategic reasoning with imperfect information has now surpassed that of the best humans," said Carnegie Mellon computer science professor Tuomas Sandholm.
Carnegie Mellon noted that this kind of AI could have implications for other applications, like using a computer or smartphone to negotiate big-ticket purchases, or for business negotiations or military strategy.