In a hugely significant move that presages a major expansion into Central...
With AI technology constantly improving and becoming more refined, you could say it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep up with this rapidly evolving discipline.
Who better than Angelo Dalli, AI & Technology Expert, Entrepreneur and Investor, to educate us on his perspective on the future of the market?
We caught up with Angelo to hear just that.
When there was a lack of live sports, we saw some crossover of players to other verticals like esports, how can AI support this process?
“I have been a long-time advocate for operators to take advantage of crossovers between verticals. It has been proven time and time again that crossover can generate some of the best revenue boosts for operators.
Obviously, I never thought that there will be such a drastic lockdown and cessation of most live sports on the entire planet – so operators who already had crossover products ready, did successfully take advantage of the fact that people were inside their homes for extended periods of time with limited entertainment options.
Lottery and eSports together with Casino games and Poker had a big boost when combined together, with successful operators combining, for example, Casino with Lottery to keep the user experience more engaging and profit making. AI supported this process and will continue supporting such processes by identifying the best combination of products that should be offered together for particular player segments.
AI can also identify what alternative games are attractive to sportsbook players according to the sports that they normally like, tiding them over until live sports recommenced.
Regarding eSports, AI is enabling this exciting and relatively new vertical, which I think represents a major segment of the future online gaming industry. Events like the COVID19 lockdown have driven the point home even more and I expect that this is a vertical where AI can really make a difference in providing a fantastic and immersive player experience that is unrivalled by most live sports.”
What impact does AI have on the future of responsible gaming?
“The ever shifting and increasingly complex regulatory landscape necessitates operators to have advanced tools that spot problematic behaviour and provide cool-off periods and dynamic limits that enable responsible gaming practices while minimising friction with players.
In the long term, a happy player that plays for entertainment and not for obsession, and who has enough money left over for entertainment rather than being driven into dire straits is a long term, sustainable customer.
AI can help operators adopt such long view and maximise the player lifetime value, all within the constraints of the relevant regulations and also within the ethical framework for that operator.
I think that more sophisticated real-time intervention will be increasingly common, with automated customer support blended with human support when the AI is unsure or needs assistance from a human agent if it detects problematic cases that it cannot sufficiently handle on its own.”
What does the future of player experience look like with AI?
“AI is increasingly enabling operators to give VIP-like levels of experience to players of all levels, including novice players and very casual players who login only occasionally.
Customer support is also increasingly looking to be assisted by AI tools and chatbots as they become more capable and human like. Multilingual customer support is especially important in reducing costs significantly and new AI technology is constantly improving the way that human and AI interactions occur.
I expect that AI powered operators of the future will have almost perfect recommendations at the right time and place and will be able to offer the right incentives at the perfect time in the customer journey without being too obtrusive.
The overall experience will be transparent, with clear rules explained to the player, minimising bad interactions and disputes.
Risk management will also be mostly managed by AI systems. More radical uses of AI, for example, in sportsbook will lead to techniques like computer vision annotating livestreams of live events in a superior and more cost effective manner than the veritable army of scouts that sportsbook data providers currently employ.
Whatever task can be done in a few seconds in a repeated and documented process-like manner can be expected to be fully automated within the next couple of years.”
What’s the biggest challenge for AI in the iGaming industry? How can it be overcome?
“One of the main issues of AI is the issue of trust.
Players tend to have a sneaking suspicion, which is often unfounded and inaccurate, that AI systems will somehow cheat them out of their winnings or that give operators an unfair advantage. Often this is not the case and is never the case with reputable and licensed operators.
Regulators on the other hand, often have a hard time testing and certifying complex AI systems that may exhibit such a wide range of behaviours that it may indeed be practically impossible to certify.
Imagine complex eSports of the future, where betting events happen according to complex game mechanisms and events. It will be next to impossible for a regulator to certify the fairness (or otherwise) of such a game with current AI systems.
The solution to this problem would be to have trustworthy AI that can be more amenable to certification while ensuring that players are informed of its actions in an appropriate manner so they can trust that it is acting in an impartial manner that does not change the odds in anyone’s favour depending on the circumstances.
For the last few years, I have taken a step back from the operational day-to-day side of the gaming industry, being involved largely in a few investments that I had made years ago and often providing advice to both established operators and new entrepreneurs.
During this time I have been focusing on creating and patenting new deep tech solutions that will power the next generation of AI technologies – unfortunately something that will still be under wraps until mid-next year.
I have no doubt that while this will revolutionise and disrupt many industries, iGaming will be one of the first to take advantage of these new solutions and other innovations, created by myself and others in the AI industry, soon after they are launched.
The prospects for AI in the gaming industry have never looked so bright – I think that it will be an increasingly important aspect that will be a mainstay of all operators.”