If the words Artificial Intelligence (AI) conjure up imagery of robots and machines taking over the world in your mind, you’re not alone! From 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Terminator to I, Robot and many other sci-fi universes, machine versus man is a theme that goes back to the earliest days of computer technology. The good news is that there is no need to fear computers taking over — not yet, anyway.
AI can be found in our day-to-day lives in everything from your social media news feeds to Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri. The gambling industry is known for staying ahead of the latest trends, and AI technology is one of the driving forces behind the evolution of casino games and modern gambling environments. So, what is AI’s role in the gambling industry? Can it make gambling safer, more fun and fairer? Let’s take a look at how casinos are implementing AI to create a better experience for players.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence broadly refers to the area of computer science that uses intelligent machines to work and react in a human-like way. AI makes it possible for machines to learn from experience. AI systems will typically demonstrate “intelligent” traits such as the ability to plan, learn, reason, solve problems and can even imitate some degree of social intelligence and creativity.
AI in the gambling industry
The gambling industry offers plenty of opportunities for machine-learning systems. Some of the areas where casinos are already using AI include marketing, automation, voice and facial recognition, fraud detection and predictive maintenance. More notably, AI is also used for the casino’s player database – identifying valuable customers via machine learning, as well as providing more responsive customer service.
The upside of casino AI
Casinos will be able to use AI to continuously adapt and shape in-game experiences to cater to the preferences of the player. What does that mean in practice? Well, for example, artificial intelligence software can detect each player’s preferred game type and curate their homepage into a selection of games that are guaranteed to appeal most to them. AI can pick out patterns, track trends and then make practical projections with impressive accuracy. So if you like to play real online slots, AI can customize your homepage based on your past sessions, allowing players to save time sifting through what can sometimes feel like an endless list of games.
First-class customer service
Automated customer support can use the wealth of data it has access to — including gaming preferences, billing history, gaming habits and performance — to come to a conclusion about how best to assist you with logical, empathetic and personalized responses. AI and machine learning can help casinos improve customer experience and pave the way for increasingly ‘human-like’ customer service responses. From chatbots ready to assist during your online gameplay to helplines you can call to solve any problems you may be experiencing while playing.
The dangers of gambling have been well-documented. Signs of addiction may include chasing losses, lying about gambling activities, staying up late at night to gamble, borrowing money to continue gambling and not knowing when to stop. AI initiatives are being developed to create an environment for more responsible gaming for the future. AI technology can help gambling operators identify unhealthy patterns before they become a problem. This technology will be able to detect addiction in players of all ages. With the help of artificial intelligence software, casinos can develop a “safety net” for players most at risk.
An upgrade to the eye in the sky
Artificial intelligence can promote a safer gambling environment through the early detection of cheaters. Being able to interpret and identify suspicious behavior will allow casinos to take the necessary course of action more quickly, catching out fraudsters and cheaters before they’re able to do damage to the establishment or other players. This is particularly useful for online casinos, where there’s no immediate physical threat of a bouncer or a crowded casino floor where the chances of being caught in the act are higher.
The Downside of Casino AI
Room for exploitation
At the moment, there are no regulations for automated solutions such as AI, since the technology is still relatively new. Regardless, the dawn of the AI casino does come with warranted concern — for example, AI could be used as a tool to keep gamblers hooked by using data to predict and manipulate their behavior.
Threat to the institution of casino gaming
Earlier, we mentioned AI and machine learning being used to prevent cheating and fraud. But AI, like any other tool, can be a formidable weapon in the wrong hands. AI bots could be used to collect scores of data and use machine learning to help gamblers win greater amounts and win more often. The challenge faced by casino operators, then, is to ensure that their AI is more proficient and able to detect and remove any malicious AI programs.
AI creates a world of possibility
There’s no telling what the future holds, but exploring the world of possibilities is always a lot of fun. History has already given us a few examples: in 1997, a chess supercomputer by the name of Deep Blue beat grandmaster Garry Kasparov. Deep Blue was designed and programmed to respond to movements and then make the necessary strategic decisions based on its learning to ensure victory — which it did.
There are examples of AI poker bots too. The simulation allows AI to delay answering so that it mimics the delay in response of a human opponent. Advancements in AI even make it possible for a bot to adapt its strategy according to the scenario and the opponent it faces, just like a “real” player.
Future prospects and future gaming
It might be a futile task to try and predict exactly how casino gaming will evolve with artificial intelligence, but thinking about what the casino of the future might look like sure is fun. Whatever that future holds, whether it’s robot croupiers or safer and more responsible gambling, one thing is for sure: a more personalized experience is on the way.
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