The Influence of Artificial Intelligence on online Gambling
Artificial intelligence is setting root in every corner of our lives, whether it is space research, robotics or your own household, it’s something that we all know is happening but still feel a little confused about. That’s normal in the sense that AI is still is being developed. Experiments might seem more common than actual results, but scientists have already made some significant advances in developing synthetic machines that can even beat a seasoned poker player.
The Triumph of Libratus
We all know the highly publicized story about an IBM Deep Blue computer beating chess master Garry Kasparov 20 years ago. Recently there was lots of turmoil when a Google AlphaGo computer basically destroyed 18-time world Go champion Lee Sedol. Last year there was a new breakthrough when a computer named Libratus won thousands of hands over top-rated poker players. This is a major leap forward because poker is one of those games where the human element was believed to be crucial.
So was Libratus reading people’s faces and analyzing their weaknesses? Actually he kind of did, because during tournaments Libratus spent nights analyzing mistakes that his human counterparts exhibited during daytime matches, and used that information against his opponents. Libratus basically broke into human territory.
Libratus is not the only intelligent machine that started shaping the gambling world. There’s a whole arsenal of theories and facts on how artificial intelligence is already influencing online gambling. Some theories sound menacing and make you think of dystopian science fiction, but some qualities actually could benefit mankind and solve serious problems. Let’s look at how artificial intelligence could flip the world of gambling in the future.
Identifying Gambling Addicts
Gambling addicts are bad news for any self-respecting gambling institution, because they form a negative image of the industry and promote stereotypes that will likely land your casino a spot in tabloid newspapers. Casinos know it’s a problem and they deal with it in many ways, for example, in most places a gambling addict can ask to be banned for life.
Online casinos are more difficult to monitor, but thanks to AI, early addiction detection and prevention are possible. By analyzing player data for problematic behavior, AI can spot suspicious players and notify online casino operators. The identified account can be suspended while the player is offered help before hitting rock bottom. Playtech’s BetBuddy is one example of technology applying AI to capture a player’s digital footprints, enhance UX and identify high-risk gamblers. BetBuddy uses forest algorithms, neural networks and other methods to spot irresponsible gambling behavior in real time and then deliver messages to both the player and operator.
Casinos have always collected data to offer their clients better deals, especially knowing how easy it is to do it online. They collect player data and use it to offer personalized gaming experiences, ads and special offers. Data in an invaluable resource in this business, so it’s no surprise that industry leaders are investing in special AI to analyze personal information and give online gambling operators a head start. Where the human brain fails, AI pulls out patterns, trends and gives predictions flawlessly.
However, there is a dark side to this. We mentioned that AI can be used to help gamblers get off the hook, but it appears that some casinos use scary techniques to keep people engaged. The Guardian that certain operators get access to very personal data, like emails, that gets analyzed and turned into tailor-made content that’s almost irresistible to a gambler addict. The worst part is that users often unwittingly consent to the use of their data in ways they aren’t aware of due to lengthy terms and conditions, enabling their information to legally be used in this way.
Better Customer Service
You’ve probably been a situation where you ask customer service for help and the chatbot answers something like ‘I don’t understand. Do you need help?’ Too obvious that you’re not dealing with a human, and not getting that much help either. The good news is that AI eventually will fix this and kick the unresponsive bots out of work. Modern AI service agents will have access to player data, which means they’ll be able to give personalized and logical answers.
According to a recent study by Oracle, 78% of brands say they, “have already implemented or are planning to implement artificial intelligence and virtual reality by 2020 to better serve customers.”
Reaching Young People
Artificial intelligence could be the reason why more young will start gambling in the future. Now most gamblers are anywhere between 35-65 years old, but the possibility of AI driven VR could allow operators to move players into the digital world with limitless possibilities, and capture the millennial market. Millennials are unlikely to enter a physical casino or play via desktop, but they are already more engaged in mobile online gambling than their older peers. VR will only amplify this growing trend, bringing more exciting and innovative industry experiences to people that represent half of the workforce.
Can AI bots be used to cheat in online casinos? Knowing that AI is basically a very advanced and flexible calculating machine, we think that it’s totally possible. By teaching AI the rules and winning combinations of a card game you get a deadly gambler that doesn’t get tired and has no remorse. The only goal is to win. With enough time and effort you can first teach the AI to play and later watch it figure out by itself how to get the highest possible win. The interesting part is that this could probably be done by both cheating gamblers and casino operators that seek to suck honest gamblers dry of all their money.
Online casinos are usually at a disadvantage compared to their land-based counterparts when it comes to security. There are no cameras or broad-shouldered security staff to keep an eye on cheating players in an online casino. This means that cheaters can use their own AI technology to outsmart the existing infrastructure. Luckily, most online casinos use the same tricks to weed out gamblers that like to play unfair. All honest players benefit when AI quickly identifies and stops a cheating scheme. However, the challenge will be for the casino’s crime-fighting AI to strong-arm the fraudulent AI of cheaters. Basically this turns into a competition of whose AI bot is better at the job.
It’s difficult to predict the future of AI because it’s still in its infant stage, but there is no doubt that AI is influencing and changing our lives as we speak. Online gambling will become so personalized, that you’ll start to feel like owning your own custom-made casino with all of the benefits. Personalized gaming experiences and content also pose a threat because certain casino operators will exploit people who are addicted to gambling, but the good news is that AI can also counterattack and help addicts. AI might still look like something that’s invisible to the naked eye, but subtle hints of smart machines are everywhere, even in such age-old activities like gambling.