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April 04, 2016

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Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance King

If a computer can play poker in an objective manner without emotion, fear or feeling, are attorney and judge jobs doomed to automation? If your premise is that litigation is poker, why can't computers decide criminal and civil liability?

anon

Lubet writes: "The objective in poker is not holding the best cards, or even winning the most hands -- instead, it is manipulating your opponents into making the most bad decisions at the highest cost."

This is, of course, irrefutably wrong (see below).

It is also a strange way of viewing the objective: which is, of course, to walk away with the most (or all of the) cash (or chips).

Poker is no different from the stock market, in this respect, which is riddled with irrational and rational emotions, like fear, greed, etc. Winning there requires predicting and "reading" the market properly (and, of course, an element of chance).

Perhaps needless to say, computers are now being used to play in the stock market casino very effectively. It would be news to everyone involved that these computers are not "playing" the game and winning or losing, because the computer doesn't fear deprivation of its wealth.

Basically, Lubet seems to be saying that because a computer cannot amass wealth or fear being without it it cannot be deemed to "win" a game. The question of fear of losing, however, is completely irrelevant to the rules of Texas Holdem which govern "winning" at that game of poker.

"Texas Holdem is played on a single table with two to 10 players. The goal is simple: win as many chips as you can, one pot at a time. You win a pot by having the best hand, or by having all other players fold before the showdown."

In other words, Lubet's version of the "objective" of the game is wrongly stated, thus his conclusion follows from a false premise.

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