The big flaw in single operator use of AI to detect problem gambling

The big flaw in single operator use of AI to detect problem gambling

Monday, April 3, 2017
Kindred Futures co-hosted a roundtable discussion on AI

The Head of Kindred Futures has promoted the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a future complement to Kindred Group’s proprietary Player Safety Early Detection System (PS-EDS), but acknowledged a “structural flaw” of any single operator pursuing this advanced detection route.

Will Mace played a central role in a roundtable discussion co-hosted by Kindred Futures, which explored opportunities around how AI can be used to detect early signs of problem gambling.

Leading academics, technology pioneers, addiction psychologists and Kindred’s team of responsible gambling experts agreed that there was “significant potential for an AI capability to bring together and analyse many data sources to give a much-improved ability to detect signs of a developing problem.”

Mace told TotallyGaming.com: “Problem gambling is a complex phenomenon and manifests itself in many ways. Behavioural psychologists have identified many different indicators of problem gambling and even more combinations of indicators. 

“Artificial Intelligence can significantly augment an analyst’s ability to detect these combinations and thus augment their ability to flag when a problem might be developing. The earlier we can identify potential problems, the more effectively we can make the appropriate response or intervention.

“Artificial intelligence has made huge leaps forward in recent years, so the building blocks are all there for us, and hopefully the rest of the industry, to tackle a serious and sometimes devastating problem.”

Participants in London also spent time discussing behavioural indicators from past research into responsible gambling, such as the amount a player stakes, the time he/she plays for and the method used for depositing the money.

Mace said that behaviours such as this would be highlighted by AI, but conceded that if someone utilises multiple operators then the extent of any problem would be masked, as the indicators would be spread across those operators and no one entity would be able to identify the full scale of the problem. This raises the intriguing possibility of a multi-operator cooperation for implementing AI and assessing problem gambling.

Totally Gaming says: It is refreshing to see the innovation arm for Kindred Group initiating discussions such as this between experts from several different fields. Detecting signs of problem gambling at an early stage can greatly improve the ability to successfully diffuse a destructive gaming pattern. The introduction of AI to support player safety is moving closer, but gamblers could still work around this unless there is a level of multi-operator cooperation within the industry.

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