Humans take on computer in poker tournament

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Humans take on computer in poker tournament

The first official poker competition between humans and computers is due to start tonight at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver.

The competition has been organised by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI). 

Two professional poker players, Phil Laak and Ali Esmali, will play against a computer program called Polaris, developed by the University of Alberta, during the AAAI's annual conference.

"Each session will involve a human playing 500 hands against 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," said the AAAI.

"The result of a session is the sum of the two humans' scores versus the sum of the two Polaris scores.

"This format, inspired by the rules of duplicate bridge, significantly reduces the luck element and increases the chances that the best team will win based on skill."

The tournament will involve four sessions, each with US$5,000 at stake, and the human players will be encouraged to explain their thoughts as they play to help the scientists gain an insight into how to improve the code.
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