AI and Online Casinos: What Does the Future Hold?

If there’s one thing we can probably all agree on, it’s that technology is developing at an exponential pace. This is true for all areas, from virtual reality to apps that solve complex equations in seconds and thus help researchers with their grunt work.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is no exception. The broadest definition of AI is robots that are able to reach levels of cognitive function that involve recognising the environment, complex data processing, problem-solving and communication pattern processing. As well as understanding all of this, an AI robot will be able to synthesise all this information and continue to learn and “think”. Not unrelated to machine learning, AI goes even deeper.

There are plenty of implications for Artificial Intelligence, including an AI being attached to a computer that is embedded in a human brain. The amount of knowledge that such an individual would have access to is difficult for us to even imagine right now. Updates and developments in any area could be accessed with a mere thought. With all the other interest in AI and questions about where it will go in the future, we’re focusing on one that is very close to home: what will AI mean for online casinos?

Master Problem-Solvers and Players

In many ways, the future is already here. Artificial Intelligence robots have successfully beaten the best Chess and Go professionals in the world. Back in the 1960s, cyber scientist Arthur Samuel’s AI programme beat the top Checkers player in America at the time. Artificial Intelligence goes back further than most people realise, and the increased complexity in its problem-solving abilities can be seen just in the progress from winning games of Checkers to winning Chess and Go.

Now things have progressed even further, and AI programmes are beating top Poker players. After a few very positive trials, the Libratus AI software was able to best 4 of the world’s top Texas Poker players over the course of a 20-day tournament. Some of the cyber success can be attributed to human fatigue, but a lot of it is down to new capabilities involving analysing betting patterns and using the interpretations in the same way people use bluffs and tells. Researchers say this is an approximation to a gut instinct.

So far, this level of AI is only possible with incredibly powerful computers and has thus been limited to research labs. With the way technology continues to mushroom, however, how long will it be until AI software with these capacities is available to everyone – including online gamblers without too many scruples?

In theory, AI bots could be used to successfully imitate humans at Blackjack, Poker and all other games, even incurring minor losses to throw operators off their scent. Games that rely on Random Number Generation are not safe either; this technology is so widely praised because the patterns in the generation are just far too big for peoples’ minds to compute. They’re not too big for AI computations though.

What Can the Online Casino Industry Do?

Online casino operators are well aware of the financial losses that AI could pose for them, both because they’d need to pay out a lot more and because the risk of AI bots might make human gamblers stay away. Never a group to take things lying down, proprietors have already started looking into how they can combat the problem. One of the most interesting is to use AI themselves, such as setting up AI administrators on individual games.

Ultimately, we’re going to have to see where AI takes us and how quickly we get there. As their capacity for intelligent thought and conscience grows, they might get better at rinsing casinos but be increasingly unwilling to perform these dubious acts. They’re not subject to human weakness, after all.