Only a decade ago, artificial intelligence still seemed like a science fiction fantasy to many. It was HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Skynet from the Terminator franchise. In Hollywood and mainstream culture, A.I. has often been portrayed like Frankenstein’s proverbial monster - a technology which, once unleashed will inevitably turn against its creator. Leading thinkers Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have warned about the perils to mankind of uncontrolled A.I. development:
"Success in creating A.I. would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last, unless we learn how to avoid the risks." -- Stephen Hawking, Famous Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, and Author
However, since the introduction of the new scientific discipline in the 1950’s the reality has been far more mundane and philosophical. The technology has mostly languished as an academic curiosity, lacking the fundamental technological innovations needed to make it a practical reality. As with most revolutionary developments, A.I. required the concurrent evolution of a variety of different technologies to come together at once including computing power, software engineering and data capacity.
“As a technologist, I see how A.I. and the fourth industrial revolution will impact every aspect of people’s lives.” – Fei-Fei Li , Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University.
Today, those key ingredients have all progressed rapidly to the point that A.I. has finally emerged as a powerful and extremely useful technology with applications in almost every industry and facet of human life. The igaming industry is no exception.
A.I. in iGaming
Technology leaders in the iGaming industry are focused on harnessing the power of A.I. and machine learning systems to simultaneously enhance growth, player safety and security. In order to work effectively, A.I. and machine learning require data - and lots of it. The more data, the more effectively an A.I. system can be trained to recognise patterns and develop algorithms to optimise a system’s performance. The iGaming industry provides data in spades (pun intended). Online casinos log hundreds of millions of transactions daily around the world. That volume of data can be challenging for human analysts to tackle but for A.I., it offers a rich resource for training and development.
“We are working hard to develop A.I. technologies that will benefit our operators and players by making our platform more intelligent, personalised and secure.”, Erkki Nikunen - CMO, Finnplay
The A.I. can be trained to perform tasks that enhance or automate human processes and also recognise patterns or behavioural changes that can identify potential problems or abuses early.
Top 4 A.I. Applications in iGaming
1. Responsible Gaming
As online gambling grows, governments are increasingly tightening regulation and compliance requirements. One of the main objectives is to better identify problem gamblers early, connect them with good help resources and enable them to self-exclude from activity when needed. The changes in behaviour can be subtle and may include such things as:
A typical operator may have thousands of players at any point in time, and many millions of transactions monthly. Tracking these subtle changes over time on an individual basis is very challenging as a manual process. A trained machine learning-driven algorithm can assess, cross-reference and analyse the data efficiently in real-time, raising alarms, and automating the process of alerts, intervention and player contact as soon as a problem is detected. The analysis, detection and notification processes can can be largely automated as well as escalation to real RG officers for personal contact when necessary. These emerging A.I. RG tools will help keep players safer, and operators more compliant.
2. AML & KYC
Like igaming operators, big banks have also been feeling the pressure from regulators aggressively pushing to prevent criminal activity in finance and e-transactions. Major global banks have been collectively fined billions of dollars in recent years, having their offices raided and their officers prosecuted over failures to adequately monitor AML procedures and perform KYC due diligence. Increasingly banks, and igaming operators are turning to A.I. technology to automate many of the processes involved with AML and KYC by inputting and better analysing a broader set of data and infometrics. New tools are being developed that enable automating processes for:
With big data and access to a broader range of financial information, A.I. will help operators greatly reduce their exposure to potential online criminal activity making the business safer and more secure for everyone.
3. Game recommendations
There is more to A.I. than safety and security. A.I.-enhanced recommendations and preference mapping is already well-used in popular streaming platforms like Netflix, Spotify and Youtube as well as e-retailers like Amazon and E-Bay. It only makes sense that a similar approach can be used to help connect players with gaming experiences that better suit their tastes. As players engage with a site, their activity builds a profile that can be used to help direct them to new games they are more likely to enjoy and interact with. This helps build the operator’s site participation and stickiness, as well as providing a more tailored and enjoyable experience for the player.
4. Customised bonuses and loyalty programs
A.I. can also be very helpful in developing personalised bonuses and loyalty programs that reward players based on their activity and profile. Ironically, artificial intelligence can be used to enhance personalisation of the player experience in a way that manual human processes simply can’t. With A.I. a user’s playing style can be tracked an analysed to help match the user with reward mechanisms that best compliment their playing style and personal motivations. Depending on their game preferences and betting habits, different types of rewards will offer more or less incentive to a player. For instance, a high-stakes card gambler might be more motivated by a healthy cash back guarantee, where as a high-volume low-bet slot player might be more interested in a free spins reward. A player's response to different rewards can also be tracked over time and built into the overall user profile. These incentive programs build loyalty and retention for an operator, and A.I. can be used to greatly enhance their targeting and effectiveness.
Finnplay and A.I.
At Finnplay, we are committed to developing industry-leading applications for A.I. and machine learning. Chief Marketing Officer and partner Erkki Nikunen says, “We are working hard to develop A.I. technologies that will benefit our operators and players by making our platform more intelligent, personalised and secure.” The igaming technology and platform provider is currently developing several A.I. tools for their operators to help attract and retain more players through better recommendations and loyalty programs. These new tools are slated for release in early 2020 and the company is also looking into new A.I. technologies to enhance their RG and AML processes in the near future.
It is certain that A.I. will play an integral role in the development of the igaming business with benefits shared by operators and players alike. This example shows that it is not inevitable that A.I. will turn against it’s master like Frankenstein’s monster. Used appropriately and responsibly, A.I. can be effectively harnessed to enhance and automate human processes for the greater good.
Find out how our state-of-the-art technology will help your igaming business succeed by contacting Finnplay today https://finnplay.com/contact-us.html