Speed Reads

Poker Faces

This computer can beat you at Texas Hold 'Em

Computers have mastered checkers, chess, Scrabble, and even Jeopardy. But when it comes to game theory, poker is much more challenging.

University of Alberta Poker Research Group announced Thursday that they've built a computer capable of playing a simple version of Texas Hold 'Em almost perfectly.

"Our goal is to advance artificial intelligence, and poker, we believe, is a really good test bed for trying out new algorithms," lead researcher Michael Bowling told The Wall Street Journal. "Poker is an ideal game to capture all kinds of uncertainty."

Artificial intelligence experts believe game theory advances like this could eventually lead to breakthroughs in military strategy, national security, medical decision-making, complex contract negotiations, and auctions.