It looks like Deep Blue has some new competition

Deep Blue, the artificial intelligence (AI) program that helped launch a new era of gaming, may have met its match.  A new software program has been created by the computer science department at the University of Alberta in Canada that reportedly can outperform Deep Blue thanks to the use of "adaptive technology."

Deep Blue has already beaten world chess players and led to the development of DeepStack, a poker-specific AI platform that was also capable of defeating world-class players.  However, Deep Blue and DeepStack are limited in that they can only follow pre-programmed instructions.  The new platform, dubbed Cepheus by developers, can actually learn during a game and make "perfect choices," as well as incorporate randomness. 

Developers first loaded all possible scenarios of a standard game into Cepheus and then set it free to play against itself.  After 70 days, the application was able to make perfect decisions on holding cards and creating the best hands. 

Poker is a difficult game because it has so many variables and no single right answer.  It would be interesting to see what would happen if Cepheus were to go heads-up against Libratus, the most-recent poker AI application, or even some of the world's best players.  A computer playing against itself is one thing; playing against a human who can bluff and make interesting (albeit sometimes illogical) calls is something else.  Perhaps someone wants to contact Shaun Deeb or Justin Bonomo and see if they're interested in a few friendly games.

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