AI Beats Eight World Champions at Bridge

AI Beats Eight World Champions at Bridge (



from the how-about-that dept.

An artificial intelligence has beaten eight world champions at bridge, a game in which human supremacy has resisted the march of the machines until now. From a report: […] French startup NukkAI announced the news of its AI’s victory on Friday, at the end of a two-day tournament in Paris. The NukkAI challenge required the human champions to play 800 consecutive deals divided into 80 sets of 10. It did not involve the initial bidding component of the game during which players arrive at a contract that they must then meet by playing their cards. Each champion played their own and their “dummy” partner’s cards against a pair of opponents. These opponents were the best robot champions in the world to date — robots that have won many robot competitions but that are universally acknowledged to be nowhere near as good as expert human players.

The AI — called NooK — played the same role as the human champion, with the same cards and the same opponents. The score was the difference between those of the human and the AI, averaged over each set. NooK won 67, or 83%, of the 80 sets. Jean-Baptiste Fantun, co-founder of NukkAI, said he had been confident the machine — which the company has been developing for five years — would triumph in thousands of deals, but with only 800 it was touch-and-go. Announcing the results, the mathematician Cedric Villani, winner of the Fields medal in 2010, called NukkAI “a superb French success story.” AI researcher Veronique Ventos, NukkAI’s other co-founder, calls NooK a “new generation AI” because it explains its decisions as it goes along. “In bridge, you can’t play if you don’t explain,” she says.

Row, row, row your bits, gently down the stream…


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