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
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 ten 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.
- From Fantasy Sports to Fantasy Governments – Teams of politicians could be created and wagers could be based on the balance of hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly media coverage received. The AI would collect input data continuously from social media, official agencies, and media outlets. The algorithm would weight and add up positive and negative comments and then determine the overall balance of sentiment for each politician. The rules might include restrictions on the number of politicians from each continent to be included in the global-scale game. Similar wagers could be allowed at national, state, or local level depending on the version of the game that’s selected. As governments become more transparent, this segment could also include betting on weekly performance of each member of the political team. A side effect could be that governments start to choose key officers based on their media scores and the returns to those who bet on them.
- 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 such 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.
- Predictive Analytics-Free Sites – If AI could analyse and process all the data available on sports and other betting events, what would be the point of gambling? Services without the input of AI that rely only upon human knowledge and experience would be a new segment to capitalize on. Just like hunting purists fall back to semi-automatic guns to keep it ‘fair’ and challenging, some gamblers might like to keep games free of AI capabilities.
- 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.