Pentagon spends $10mn on poker playing AI Libratus
The US Defence Department has announced it has hired Libratus, the artificial intelligence which, in 2017, defeated four of the world’s top Texas Hold’em poker players, winning US$1.8mn. The Pentagon will reportedly use the computational game theory in order to improve its war games training programs. According to a report by Brinkwire, the Pentagon will pay a total of $10mn for the engagement of Libratus’ services.
Libratus was built over the course of more than 15mn core hours of computation on the Bridges supercomputer in the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center. According to one of Libratus’ developers, Tuomas Sandholm, the AI is able to construct powerful betting strategies, including the ability to bluff. According to a report by Wired, “Libratus’ defeat of poker pros in 2017 was seen as a milestone in AI because the card game has complex features lacking in the board games most prominently mastered by computers.”
Following Libratus’ 2017 win against the world’s best poker players, Sandholm established Strategy Robot, a startup designed to adapt the AI’s game-playing technology for government use in early 2018. The $10mn Pentagon contract will see Strategy Robot working in support of the Defence Innovation Unit, a special department created in 2015 in order to facilitate the adoption of new technologies by the US military.
According to Wired’s report, “Libratus’ poker technique suggests Strategy Robot might deliver military personnel some surprising recommendations. Pro players who took on the bot found that it flipped unnervingly between tame and hyper-aggressive tactics, all the while relentlessly notching up wins as it calculated paths to victory.”
In addition to applying his AI game-playing technology to military training, Sandholm has reportedly founded a second startup. Strategic Machine will apply Libratus’ decision making abilities to private sector enterprise decision making, such as electricity markets, sports, and making computer-controlled players in video games into more formidable opponents.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.