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“Investing in artificial intelligence is also a good strategy for smaller countries” says Prof. Sandholm

Investing in artificial intelligence is a “fantastic strategy” for countries, even smaller ones such as the Netherlands, according to Professor Tuomas Sandholm who achieved global fame with Libratus, the first artificial intelligence program that beat four of the world’s best poker players in a game of no-limit Texas Hold’em. “The many opportunities for growth make achieving success feasible, even if you’re not a frontrunner.”

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Sandholm made this statement to kick off the artificial intelligence conference held at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus last week where he was the keynote speaker. The scientist does not believe there is a very good chance of other countries surpassing the United States as the frontrunner in artificial intelligence “in general”. Everyone has this ambition these days given the importance of artificial intelligence and its applications Sandholm said, but in all likelihood, this isn’t feasible. In his view, China would be the only one that could possibly challenge the U.S. in this regard. However, anyone concentrating on “narrow focus areas” could actually achieve “enormous success” according to Sandholm. Securing a frontrunner position in artificial intelligence in relation to (the approach to) (problems involving) the environment would, for example, be a more realistic scenario. The competition in this area is very limited at present, emphasized the scientist who was born in Finland but now lives in Pittsburgh where he is affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University. Investing in artificial intelligence is a smart move even for countries that haven’t secured a leading position. “The many opportunities for growth make achieving success feasible, even if you’re not a frontrunner.”

The global media had already reported on Tuomas Sandholm earlier this year when Libratus, a program developed by Sandholm and his team, became the first artificial intelligence program to beat four of the world’s best poker players during a several day no-limit Texas Hold’em contest. Sandholm had already been a well-known name even before the “Brains versus Artificial Intelligence” victory. Among other achievements, he has created algorithms that are used in the U.S. to match living kidney donors with kidney patients via the United Network for Organ Sharing.

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During his visit at the Brightlands Smart Services Campus  in The Netherlands on November 2nd 2017 we had an interview with Professor Tuomas Sandholm.

Author: Gwen Teo
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