Artificial Intelligence Defeats Eight Bridge Champions

The victories are a significant leap forward in AI capabilities, as unlike chess for example, in bridge players have to deal with missing information while understanding the behavior of other players – something a machine has not been able to do so far

Artificial intelligence has defeated eight bridge champions – a game in which human superiority has so far succeeded in overcoming machines. The victories represent a new milestone for artificial intelligence because in bridge players work with missing information and must respond to the behavior of other players – a scenario much more similar to a human decision-making process than that of a machine.

In games like Chess and Go, where Artificial Intelligence has already defeated flesh and blood champions, the player faces one opponent at a time and both hold all the information. “What we have seen represents an important advance in the state of artificial intelligence systems,” said Stephen Mogleton, a lecturer in machine learning at Imperial College London.

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French startup NukkAI reported victories at the end of a two-day tournament in Paris. The challenge required the human champions to play 800 consecutive tenders divided into 80 sets of 10. The champions played against each other and against robots that are considered the best in the world. Artificial intelligence played the same role as the champions, with the same cards and the same opponents. The score was the difference between the score of the people and of the artificial intelligence in each campaign. The software has won in 67 systems, which is 83% of the 80 systems. Mathematician Cedric Villani called the victory “an excellent French success story.”

Navina Senior, who has won the World Bridge Championship for England several times and was one of the contestants in the tournament, claimed that the makers of the machine did a “wonderful” job. She said she read the contestants better than the people did and made better use of their mistakes. “It’s something people do after a lot of experience and I was pleasantly surprised that a robot mimicked typical human skills,” she concluded.

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Past achievements in artificial intelligence include Deep Blue’s victory over world champion Gary Kasparov and IBM’s Watson computer who defeated trivia program champions Jeffrey Brad Rotter and Ken Jennings and won a $ 1 million prize.