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GamblingNews June 30, 2023 5 min read
ZingBrain AI CPO Oleg Smolerov: “AI is Transforming Online Gaming – Make It Work for You”
Online casinos and sportsbooks have an opportunity to improve the user experience and much more with the latest AI technology, but it must be done safely and for the benefit of the player, says Oleg Smolerov, CPO at ZingBrain AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has well and truly arrived in the public consciousness over the last few months, with tools such as ChatGPT, DALL·E 2 and Midjourney delighting millions of users worldwide.
At the same time, AI’s first mass-market moment has been greeted with both excitement and concern, as businesspeople, politicians and other stakeholders get a first glimpse of how it might transform industries.
Those of us working in the online gaming space should be paying attention. While AI is still considered by some as frontier technology, I’d argue there are already many practical ways in which it can exponentially improve the user experience online casino and sportsbook operators are offering.
It may be a little counter-intuitive, but in many instances, this is by using automation to create a UX that actually feels considerably more human than what most customers are currently receiving.
Let’s Look at the Examples
Our industry has spoken for many years about the importance of creating more personalised and bespoke experiences for our customers. It’s a noble aim, but unfortunately and more often than not, it hasn’t reflected reality.
Legacy technology platforms haven’t been able to keep pace with the scope of personalisation modern players expect. Every time these players open TikTok, Spotify or Instagram, they receive perfectly curated feeds tailored precisely to their preferences.
But when they log onto their favourite online casino, they are usually greeted by the same generic lobby – perhaps with a couple of minor adjustments based on games they’ve recently played.
AI presents us with an opportunity to finally deliver the type of personalised, bespoke user experience we’ve dreamed about for many years.
By processing billions of user transactions (the AI-driven ZingBrain AI platform has already analysed more than three billion) we’re building an understanding of what players want from their casinos and sportsbooks that has simply never existed before.
AI-driven models are letting us go far deeper into what players enjoy. Traditional systems may, for example, serve up another Egyptian-themed slot if a player had spent some time on similarly themed games in the past. But AI-powered models that leverage far more data might reach a different conclusion; perhaps it wasn’t the theme the player enjoyed, but rather a particular gameplay mechanic.
Imagine a casino main page that reflects all the changes in a player’s gaming experience and mood, and where numerous sections are sorted specifically for the player at that very moment. Everything is organised according to these player preferences: newly added games on the platform; games they haven’t tried yet but are likely to enjoy; popular games among players similar to them; and, of course, their favourite games that they may have forgotten about during the session.
By then actioning these AI insights, we’re actually able to give the player an experience that feels far more human. The AI can provide to everyone a level of ‘understanding’ that previously only high-rolling VIPs received.
Alongside the excitement around AI, there are some legitimate concerns.
We’re not talking about robots taking over the world here, but rather the danger that AI-driven platforms could prey on vulnerable and at-risk customer profiles.
The first thing I’d say in response to this is that proper oversight is absolutely essential as we roll out this new technology.
For the ZingBrain AI team, which has been working with AI for many years now, we’re firm believers that it can – and should – be used to improve player safety.
We’re already working with several operators to use the technology to better identify at-risk players in ways that other systems might miss. AI is empowering us to take a far more comprehensive, 360-degree view of player safety.
By modelling large data sets, we’re able to flag signs of problematic behaviour far earlier than we’ve ever been able to before.
We’re also using it to transform other major challenges operators face on a daily basis, including payments fraud and bonus abuse.
I strongly believe that in a few years, AI will be considered an essential part of creating a safe playing environment, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see regulators begin to insist on its use in certain areas.
This is what I mean when I say AI technology has already reached a stage where it can have a positive impact across multiple facets of the online gaming business.
Personalisation, UX and responsible gaming are just the tips of the iceberg, and over the next few years, I expect to see a strong correlation between the operators enjoying the most success and those who are best leveraging AI.
To anyone feeling a little worried about how AI might impact their brands, their players or even their jobs, I’d say there’s no need for alarm. With a responsible approach, we can use it to change the game for the better.
Disclaimer: This content is the exclusive contribution of Oleg Smolerov, CPO at ZingBrain AI.