How AI Can Contribute To More Responsible Gaming
In the Gaming industry the term ‘responsible gaming’ refers to a commitment by gaming operators to embark on practices that reduce the likelihood of problem gambling amongst customers who could be more vulnerable. ANDREW NAUDI, Technology Partner at NOUV stresses that service providers need to ensure that their products need to uphold the highest standards to ensure a fair and safe gaming experience that protects players from the adverse consequences of gaming and gambling.
In the 50s, John McCarthy and Marvin Minsk coined the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and described it as any task carried out by machines, or programmes, which, if carried out by a human, one would say required some form of intelligence to accomplish. This is quite a wide-ranging definition and there are countless arguments as to whether a machine or programme is in actual fact AI enabled or not.
We can generally define AI as being one of two things today: Narrow AI as something capable of handling one particular task, such as a spam filtering tool, a self-driven car, recommending a playlist or identify player gaming patterns on online gambling websites. On the other hand, General AI is much more sophisticated. This could be a machine capable of handling generalized tasks much in the same way as a human being would, possessing reasoning, intellectual and ethical capabilities, as well as having a comprehensive understanding of the surrounding environment.
We are by no means anywhere close to having grasped or achieved the general AI concept, however there are countless examples of AI projects in use or being developed today, such as personalized phone app assistants using machine learning and natural language recognition, the rise of smart self-driven cars, social media feeds and analysis, music streaming services, AI enabled games, online advertising, smart home devices and many more.
The council of Europe has recently issued guidelines on the Artificial Intelligence and Data Protection. It is clear that AI is on its way to being regulated in some form or manner. Whether this is good or bad, or required or not, remains to be seen. In essence. what is being said in this paper is that AI should in all cases protect human dignity and safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms. In particular the guidelines state that AI developers should adopt a values-oriented approach in the design of their products and/or services. The paper also provides some interesting guidelines for legislators and policy makers with regard to AI, stressing on the protection of humans and ensuring fairness and lawfulness at all times.
The gambling industry has come a long way in recent years, from terrestrial services (bricks and mortar casinos) to online websites offering a multitude of gaming services online, from slots, baccarat, roulette, live casino, poker, online betting, live betting to skill based games and many more. It is surely undisputed that the rise of the internet has made us make ‘public’ a considerable amount of data in our everyday lives, from the sites we visit, the adverts we click on, the online purchases we make, the social media posts we make. All this data provides invaluable knowledge to marketers in regard to our consuming behaviour and potential. The same equally applies to gambling operators, investing time and money on data collection and analysis.
AI and Big Data are two terms which are closely related. Having tools that can use AI techniques to analyse large amounts of data can assist gaming operators with identifying the needs of players, with identifying possible marketing opportunities, with odds compilation, but also with responsible gaming initiatives.
Much of the controversy around about gaming sites relates to the issue of addiction, and the protection, or lack of, of vulnerable players. AI enabled tools can prove to be great platforms for gaming operators to be able to analyze game and player behavior, identify players that may be inclined to addiction and to prevent negative consequences before the problem actually becomes one. There have been many examples recently where Regulatory Authorities have slapped gaming operators with large fines for failing to comply with safe betting regulations. Most, if not all Authorities in the EU/EEA region, and beyond, preach and promote safe betting principals and the adoption of tools necessary to accomplish the protection of players.
SafeTrac is a typical example of an AI enabled software tool that can flag, in real-time, players that may exhibit traits of compulsive behavior or addiction. By flagging in real time, gambling compliance officers can act swiftly and in a correct manner to actually prevent the problem from growing.
NOUV is a company of certified public accountants, practising auditors, company service providers and certified information systems representing SafeTrac in Malta. For more information, contact Andrew Naudi on firstname.lastname@example.org.