PokerStars has been the number one online poker website for a number of years because the company has continued to focus on innovation and market intelligence to stay abreast of current industry trends. The online poker giant is now looking to invest into Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the company has posted job advertisements seeking to recruit multiple personnel to fill roles such as Poker AI Research Engineer and Graduate Poker AI Research Engineer.
PokerStars Hiring AI Researchers
These new positions will focus on creating a fully flexible AI agent as per the job descriptions and will work out of PokerStars’s Dublin and London offices. These AI employees will be place in the company’s innovation team and will be tasked with the responsibility of developing new AI products and services. While PokerStars has not released any official statement confirming that it will be focusing on the development and introduction of AI products, one can assume from the job descriptions what the company plans to do in the near future.
These job descriptions state that the selected candidates will “be working on a number of high end products PokerStars wishes to bring to market and how AI interacts with this to help PokerStars learn from and analyse strategies developed through self-play and will have the challenge of researching the application of AI in one of the largest gaming communities in the world”.
PokerStars To Develop High End AI Products
Newly hired researchers will be responsible for developing a number of AI programs that will learn how to play poker and other casino games. Depending on the success of these AI programs PokerStars could then be in a position to introduce new AI poker games into the global market and once again establish its dominance as a market leader.
AI can also be used to create a poker playing bot that will provide poker players a different feel to the game as they will have the opportunity to play against AI. PokerStars has stated on previous occasions that it has no plans to develop an AI bot as poker should be a game that is played between humans. However given the growing popularity of AI in the world of poker, it may not be all that surprising to find PokerStars suddenly introducing an AI bot in the form of gaming tutorial to help new poker players learn the game and gain valuable experience.
PokerStars will have multiple opportunities to use AI in its products and services. The company could also develop an AI bot as part of an offline game and allow players to download the same on their mobile devices and play on the go. PokerStars could also focus on using AI programs to detect bots that poker players tend to use to improve their chances of winning at online poker.
Individuals who have a background in AI and are interested to work in London or Dublin can send in their applications from the Stars Group website.
AI Researchers Focusing On Poker Industry
The AI industry has kept a close watch on the poker industry for nearly three decades but during the last few years that focus has been a lot more. Some of the top universities in the world such as Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), University of Auckland and University of Alberta have used poker as their study material to improve AI research. One of the reasons why poker receives so much attention from the AI community is because poker is considered a complex game and presents AI with numerous real life scenarios and decision making requirements which are essential for AI development and progress.
CMU has taken things to another level as in recent years the University has release AI programs that looked to challenge poker players and prove that AI could be them at poker. An AI program called Claudico was released in 2015 and some of the top poker players in the world such as Dough Polk played against Claudico and ended up beating AI.
CMU came out with a new and improved AI program called Libratus in early 2017 and the new AI defeated four top poker pros. One of the reasons that Libratus was able to win was because it had the ability to self-correct and learn from its mistakes.
It will be interesting to see what AI products and games PokerStars releases in the near future and it will not be long before other online poker operators also venture into AI development.
 

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