How might the application of artificial intelligence enhance the experience and reach of electronic gaming and gambling?
Over the next few years, the internet gaming business could be transformed completely as artificial intelligence (AI) enters the scene. At its core, AI is a type software or hardware that learns—and it could be programmed to learn mostly about us, its users and those insights could drive the developments of new, hyper-personalised gaming and internet betting experiences. The technology is being applied to learn our habits, our likes, and our relationship patterns. Just as Netflix uses an algorithm to suggest films you might watch, the concept of personalisation is extending to the idea of “Lifestyle AI” applications that could help choose your entertainment, gaming choices, wardrobe, your next meal, your job, and romantic partner. Take this one natural step further, and we enter the domain of mass tailoring of gaming and betting experiences.
While it all sounds a bit like science fiction, the capabilities of AI tools and the range of applications are growing exponentially. Indeed, by 2020 AI could be present in some form in everything we do, and by 2030, AI is likely to have infiltrated our lives in much the same way as smartphones, the internet, and global travel are now taken for granted. So how might AI change our recreational habits and day-to-day existence in a way that might affect e-gaming? Here are eight novel ways internet betting could be different in future as a result of AI.
- Trend Betting – Individuals could bet on the word, phrase, issue, or concept that will be mentioned most across a range of sites on the web during a fixed period, and then AI web crawlers would determine the actual count. Machine learning would be used to profile these trends and patterns over time, predict the likelihood and frequency of occurrence of key terms, and then determine the odds accordingly. Users could volunteer their own terms alongside those which the gambling sites suggest. To determine the initial odds for new terms, machine learning would compare the new term to others it has already analysed, and search the internet to see how frequently it is mentioned. The algorithm would then set the initial odds and refine them over time in response to actual betting patterns and payouts.
- Campaign Betting – Companies could hedge the costs of their marketing campaigns by betting on their success. Machine learning algorithms could evaluate a campaign, compare keywords and phrases in the material against past campaigns, and then determine the odds accordingly. The company placing the wager could then bet on achieving or not achieving a certain target number of hits.
- Next Generation Sports Betting – A combination of wearables and implantables tracking vital signs could be worn by sportspeople. Bets could then be placed on the aggregate performance of a team in a game—average heart rate, total calorie consumption, median oxygen intake, etc. The AI system would crunch the numbers in real time and generate minute by minute predictions of the likely outcomes for the rest of the event. Gamblers would be able to jump in at any time to bet on the likely outcome. The odds would be generated by applying machine learning algorithms to analyse the vast amounts of data generated from previous games.
- Betting on Your Life – With AI, any scenario could turn into a betting opportunity. What are the chances that you would run into a friend at the grocery store? Find a lucky penny? Get a call from your parents? Enjoy your date? Go and see a movie? Be fired by your boss tomorrow? In a form of crowdsourced betting system, if you find enough people to bet on your life events then you could give it a go. Even individuals’ lives could be ranked according to their predictability or spontaneity. The algorithm would do a detailed comparison of your social media profiles and other web postings and data against its databank to determine the odds and change them dynamically as the bets roll in.
- Beat the Bookies – With the analytical capability of AI, an independently developed ‘Beat the Bookie’ app could look at all the variables associated with a sports event. The app might factor in player performance statistics, player behaviour information, weather, previous fixtures, key match events, and create a ‘best bet’ opportunity for the gambler from across all available betting sites. An interesting question arises over how long it would be before the bookmakers develop a counter to the app or a more sophisticated basis for gambling.
- Betting on Robot Sports – First there was Robot Wars, but now we can gamble on robot team sports uch as the Robot World Cup. In addition to the usual team sports, robots also take part in a revitalised Krypton Factor including physical strength and dexterity and intelligence tests. Rules have had to be adjusted across a number of sports and activities. They have to take account of the fact that the AI brains of participating robots have very quickly developed new tactics and approaches to win the game.
- Match Fixing Fixer – This would see the use of AI to analyse match outcomes against an historical dataset of matches, outcomes, weather conditions, fitness levels, the past form of the participants, and the betting patterns for those events. This would help monitor a range of different team and individual sporting events to help ensure the validity of the competition and determine anomalous results that could be the subject of match fixing. could help. Not only will this enforce the fairness of the gamble, but it could also help ensure the integrity of sporting competition and endeavour.
- Gambling Problem Detection – Artificial intelligence could prevent users from developing a gambling problem by restricting the amount of time dedicated to this activity. Smart health trackers would disable betting applications and opportunities across all their devices, so the user couldn’t see or access them. If this feature is turned off by the user, AI could alert friends and family when the user is surpassing their recommended limits.
These examples show how diverse the role of AI might become in the world of e-gaming and online betting. AI could enhance the enjoyment of the game, create new revenue opportunities for gaming firms as well as curtail negative aspects such as addiction and cheating. There may also be good reason to believe that AI, with its intense abilities to capture information as well as crunch massive datasets, might create entirely new betting landscapes in the future. Digitisation of various life events, even the mundane, could become fodder for future gambling bets. Like so many other business sectors, it’s a safe bet to say the lucrative future of online gaming and gambling business will somehow embrace AI for its many different uses.
In what ways do you think AI could be applied to create new gambling business opportunities?
How could the use of AI enhance the gaming experience for gamblers?
Should there be regulations to limit the use of AI in gambling applications?
The authors are futurists with Fast Future — a professional foresight firm specializing in delivering keynote speeches, executive education, research, and consulting on the emerging future and the impacts of change for global clients. Fast Future publishes books from leading future thinkers around the world, exploring how developments such as AI, robotics, exponential technologies, and disruptive thinking could impact individuals, societies, businesses, and governments and create the trillion-dollar sectors of the future. Fast Future has a particular focus on ensuring these advances are harnessed to unleash individual potential and enable a very human future. See: www.fastfuture.com
Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, award-winning keynote speaker, author, and the CEO of Fast Future. His prime focus is on helping clients understand and shape the emerging future by putting people at the center of the agenda. Rohit is the co-author of Designing Your Future, lead editor and a contributing author for The Future of Business, and editor of Technology vs. Humanity. He is a co-editor and contributor for the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and three forthcoming books –Future Transformations – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business, Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.
Steve Wells is an experienced strategist, keynote speaker, futures analyst, partnership working practitioner, and the COO of Fast Future. He has a particular interest in helping clients anticipate and respond to the disruptive bursts of technological possibility that are shaping the emerging future. Steve is a contributor to the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and co-editor of The Future of Business and Technology vs. Humanity. He is a co-editor and contributor to two forthcoming books on Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.
Alexandra Whittington is a futurist, writer, Foresight Director of Fast Future, and a faculty member on the Futures program at the University of Houston. She has a particular expertise in future visioning and scenario planning. Alexandra is a contributor to The Future of Business and the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity. She is also a co-editor and contributor for forthcoming books on Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.
April Koury is a foresight researcher, writer, and the Publishing Director of Fast Future. She has worked on a range of foresight initiatives including society and media in 2020, emerging economies, and the future of travel, tourism, and transportation. April is a contributor to the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and a co-editor of The Future of Business, and Technology vs. Humanity. She is a co-editor and contributor to two forthcoming books on Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.
Maria Romero is a futurist and foresight researcher at Fast Future. She has worked on a range of foresight initiatives including a project for NASA’s Langley Research Center and the publication of “The Future of Student Life: Living” in On the Horizon. Maria is a co-editor and contributor for the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity and of the forthcoming book Future Transformations – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business. She is also a contributor to Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business.