Could DeepMind try to conquer poker next?

The 38th World Series of Poker main event. Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian What next for Google’s DeepMind, now that the company has mastered the ancient board game of Go, beating the Korean champion Lee Se-Dol 4–1 this month? A paper from two UCL researchers suggests one future project: playing poker. And unlike Go, victory in that field could probably fund itself – at least until humans stopped playing against the robot. The paper’s authors are Johannes Heinrich, a research student at UCL, and David Silver, a UCL lecturer who is working at DeepMind. Silver, who was AlphaGo’s main programmer, has been called the “unsung hero at Google DeepMind”, although this paper relates to his work at UCL. In the pair’s research, titled “Deep Reinforcement Learning from Self-Play in…


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