Libratus ditches poker to join the army in a $10m two-year Pentagon deal

Libratus ditches poker to join the army in a $10m two-year Pentagon deal

The world’s most gifted poker player, Libratus, is ditching the deck to join the US Army, after its daddy, Tuomas Sandholm, signed a two-year deal with the Pentagon worth $10m.

Poker is war.

Libratus ditches poker to join the army in a $10m two-year Pentagon dealYou sit at a table with other human beings with the sole purpose of taking everything that they have in front of them, in their pockets, and the pockets of their nearby friends. So focused are you on sliding your gun into their mouths you will even loan them money, and then do everything in your power to take that too.

Poker is war, and one of its brightest proponents is joining the army.

Last year, I asked Dominik Nitsche for his views on the best poker player in the world. Like a teenager choosing frozen pizza for tea, Nitsche didn’t have to think.


In 2017, Libratus, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) designed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Tuomas Sandholm, used computational game theory to beat Jimmy Chou, Daniel McAulay, Dong Kim and Jason Les to the tune of $1,766,250 in chips, over 120,000 hands of Heads-Up No-Limit Hold’em, over three weeks.

AI beating a human being in a game of incomplete information was as critical a breakthrough as bank robbers sticking stinking stockings on their heads to avoid detection, and now the true reasons for creating AI that can beat humans in a game of cards are starting to materialise.

Libratus Joins The Army

Vladimir Putin has said that the country that cracks the power of AI will become the ruler of the world, and with a statement like that, pacifists are stuck with the dichotomy of wanting a different nation to beat the man, or move all-in blind.

Sandholm wants to help beat the man.

An article has appeared in Wired magazine stipulating that Sandholm’s AI startup Strategy Robot has inked a deal with the US Army to help their AI wargames effort in a two-year contract worth $10m.

Sandholm and his six employees will act in a support role to the Pentagon agency The Defense Innovation Unit. Precisely, what Strategy Robot’s remit is, didn’t surface in the Wire piece with all parties deciding to shun the thunderclap approach for complete and utter silence.

You have an imagination.

Use it.

In the summer, the Pentagon created the Joint Artificial Intelligence Centre (JAIC) to oversee roughly 600 different AI projects running at the cost of $1.7bn, and in the fall the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (Darpa) announced plans to invest a further £2bn into AI weapons research over the next five years.

“I think AI’s going to make the world a much safer place,” Sandholm told Wire.