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AI of Growing Importance to Gaming Industry 

By AI Trends Staff  Operators of casinos and online games are incorporating AI in efforts ranging from maximizing profits to helping problem gamblers.   The gaming industry is technically savvy, having integrated automation into its operations to gain efficiencies and offer conveniences to customers. Now AI is being applied to casinos and the gambling industry, in-person […]

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The gambling industry is beginning to incorporate AI to enable advances, including in ways to try to help problem gamblers. (Credit: Getty Images) 

By AI Trends Staff 

Operators of casinos and online games are incorporating AI in efforts ranging from maximizing profits to helping problem gamblers.  

The gaming industry is technically savvy, having integrated automation into its operations to gain efficiencies and offer conveniences to customers. Now AI is being applied to casinos and the gambling industry, in-person and online, enabling more advances such as allowing multiple users to play the same game at the same time from different locations.   

Other advantages include ability to track compliance with online gambling regulations, collection of data on gambling preferences to enable predictions and deliver customized service to customers, according to a recent account in LA Progressive.  

It might be difficult for operators to enhance the customer experience without the use of AI in the future, suggested a speaker at SBC Summit Barcelona – Digital, the Global Betting & Gaming Show, usually held in Barcelona but held online recently.  

Américo Loureiro, director, Solverde, casino and hotel firm

For sure what we are focusing on is to increase our customer experience, the winning experience, and that leads to revenue and revenue on the lower end. I’m not seeing operators managing their operations without the help of AI in the near future. Talking about revenues, I think it’s too much over the next three years with everything on the internet,” stated Américo Loureiro, director of the casino firm Solverde, a casino and hotel firm, in an account in CasinoBeats. 

“Our plan is for the next three years to increase the AI on our operations and get benefits from this. We know that this is the very beginning, and we want to be on top of this because the ones that agree more with AI and manage AI will be the most successful operators.” he stated.  

Startup Rootz was formed in 2018 by internet gaming (igaming) professionals intent on building an online gaming platform. “It was most definitely a strategic decision to place AI in the center of thought when we started designing the platform,” stated Edvinas Subacius, chief data officer of Rootz, speaking at the SBC event. “We know that we can increase player turnover or spending up to five per cent by doing recommendation engines. At the same time, we know that we increase their lifetime value between ten per cent to 20% so four times more than actual spending by applying AI to manage our bonus cost and promotional values.” 

He suggested trying to weight the benefits of AI by a headcount measure of the number of operations the casino can get done per headcount, or how much additional revenue the headcount generates. Subacius stated that his company has 70 employees, “and we are running operations equal to other companies that have 300 to 500 employees. So the sooner you start with AI, and the closer it is to the heart of your mentality and your platform, it can create the efficiency of 100% or 1000% scale. It’s not 5% anymore.” 

The gaming industry has been collecting data from customers and market for years, and now the industry is positioned to use AI and machine learning to advance business goals, suggested Steven Paton, business solutions advisor for BMIT Technologies, a multi-site data center provider in Malta. “The next step is definitely the transitional phase of utilizing big data and machine learning to push that further over the next five years,” Paton stated at the SBC event.  

Norsk Tipping Constructively Works with Problem Gamblers 

The risk that AI will more effectively target problem gamblers is recognized by Norsk Tipping, Norway’s state-owned gambling company, which is working with a software provider on behavioral analysis to help identify problem gamblers.   

Tanja Sveen, advisor responsible for gambling for Norsk Tipping

The 2.2 million customers of Norsk Tipping have passed identity checks and have gaming accounts, which track game-playing frequency and winnings received, enabling the company to set gaming limits if necessary. “This wealthy supply of data provides unique possibilities to exploit AI to prevent problem gambling. Norsk Tipping’s mandate is clear: the company shall act to prevent the negative consequences of gambling,” stated Tanja Sveen, advisor responsible for gambling for the company, on the blog of Norsk Tipping.  

Machine learning can help expose risky gaming patterns and personalize preventive measures to reduce risk gambling, she suggested.  

Norsk has been working with a gaming behavioral analysis tool from Playscan, a company founded to address issues around problem gambling. The analysis tool aims to expose risk-filled gaming patterns, provide the customer with feedback explaining the reasoning behind the risk assessment, and suggesting preventive measures where appropriate.  

The first Playscan model was based on a number of self-assessments completed by customers. Those were used to develop the second-generation model, by comparing customer data from the first period to their responses to a self-assessment questionnaire for the second period, in order to train the model. “More than 60,000 completed self-assessments were used to develop the second generation of the Playscan model,” Sveen wrote. 

Results so far have been positive. “The new model is clearly better than the previous one. It has a higher level of accuracy and the customer feedback shows a greater degree of agreement with the risk assessment,” she stated. 

Proactively Calling Problem Gamblers 

Norsk is using AI in an effort to proactively call—on the phonecustomers with problem gambling habits. During the call, the customer is given facts on their gambling spending and the need for change is discussed. This often results in a reduction of the customer’s gaming limit.   

In order to identify which customers would most benefit from a call, the company set up a study on machine learning with the BI Norwegian Business School during the spring of 2018. The researchers used a sample dataset of 1,400 customers who had received a proactive call, a random selection from the 10,000 customers who had lost the most money through gaming in the last year. That gave the team a representative data set useful for creating a model. Customer’s theoretical loss 12 weeks before the call was compared with their spending 12 weeks after the call, to see if spending had decreased or increased.     

The standard procedure for machine learning was employed; the model development and the data evaluation was carried out using the automated machine learning tool called DataRobot. 

“The evaluation showed that we managed to develop several models with an ability to provide rather highly accurate predictions,” Sveen wrote. “To a great extent the models were able to identify the customers who made use of the proactive calls.” 

Read the source articles and material in LA ProgressiveCasinoBeats and on the blog of Norsk Tipping. 

Source: https://www.aitrends.com/ai-and-business-strategy/ai-of-growing-importance-to-gaming-industry/

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How does it know?! Some beginner chatbot tech for newbies.

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Wouter S. Sligter

Most people will know by now what a chatbot or conversational AI is. But how does one design and build an intelligent chatbot? Let’s investigate some essential concepts in bot design: intents, context, flows and pages.

I like using Google’s Dialogflow platform for my intelligent assistants. Dialogflow has a very accurate NLP engine at a cost structure that is extremely competitive. In Dialogflow there are roughly two ways to build the bot tech. One is through intents and context, the other is by means of flows and pages. Both of these design approaches have their own version of Dialogflow: “ES” and “CX”.

Dialogflow ES is the older version of the Dialogflow platform which works with intents, context and entities. Slot filling and fulfillment also help manage the conversation flow. Here are Google’s docs on these concepts: https://cloud.google.com/dialogflow/es/docs/concepts

Context is what distinguishes ES from CX. It’s a way to understand where the conversation is headed. Here’s a diagram that may help understand how context works. Each phrase that you type triggers an intent in Dialogflow. Each response by the bot happens after your message has triggered the most likely intent. It’s Dialogflow’s NLP engine that decides which intent best matches your message.

Wouter Sligter, 2020

What’s funny is that even though you typed ‘yes’ in exactly the same way twice, the bot gave you different answers. There are two intents that have been programmed to respond to ‘yes’, but only one of them is selected. This is how we control the flow of a conversation by using context in Dialogflow ES.

Unfortunately the way we program context into a bot on Dialogflow ES is not supported by any visual tools like the diagram above. Instead we need to type this context in each intent without seeing the connection to other intents. This makes the creation of complex bots quite tedious and that’s why we map out the design of our bots in other tools before we start building in ES.

The newer Dialogflow CX allows for a more advanced way of managing the conversation. By adding flows and pages as additional control tools we can now visualize and control conversations easily within the CX platform.

source: https://cloud.google.com/dialogflow/cx/docs/basics

This entire diagram is a ‘flow’ and the blue blocks are ‘pages’. This visualization shows how we create bots in Dialogflow CX. It’s immediately clear how the different pages are related and how the user will move between parts of the conversation. Visuals like this are completely absent in Dialogflow ES.

It then makes sense to use different flows for different conversation paths. A possible distinction in flows might be “ordering” (as seen here), “FAQs” and “promotions”. Structuring bots through flows and pages is a great way to handle complex bots and the visual UI in CX makes it even better.

At the time of writing (October 2020) Dialogflow CX only supports English NLP and its pricing model is surprisingly steep compared to ES. But bots are becoming critical tech for an increasing number of companies and the cost reductions and quality of conversations are enormous. Building and managing bots is in many cases an ongoing task rather than a single, rounded-off project. For these reasons it makes total sense to invest in a tool that can handle increasing complexity in an easy-to-use UI such as Dialogflow CX.

This article aims to give insight into the tech behind bot creation and Dialogflow is used merely as an example. To understand how I can help you build or manage your conversational assistant on the platform of your choice, please contact me on LinkedIn.

Source: https://chatbotslife.com/how-does-it-know-some-beginner-chatbot-tech-for-newbies-fa75ff59651f?source=rss—-a49517e4c30b—4

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Who is chatbot Eliza?

Between 1964 and 1966 Eliza was born, one of the very first conversational agents. Discover the whole story.

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Frédéric Pierron

Between 1964 and 1966 Eliza was born, one of the very first conversational agents. Its creator, Joseph Weizenbaum was a researcher at the famous Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). His goal was to enable a conversation between a computer and a human user. More precisely, the program simulates a conversation with a Rogérian psychoanalyst, whose method consists in reformulating the patient’s words to let him explore his thoughts himself.

Joseph Weizenbaum (Professor emeritus of computer science at MIT). Location: Balcony of his apartment in Berlin, Germany. By Ulrich Hansen, Germany (Journalist) / Wikipedia.

The program was rather rudimentary at the time. It consists in recognizing key words or expressions and displaying in return questions constructed from these key words. When the program does not have an answer available, it displays a “I understand” that is quite effective, albeit laconic.

Weizenbaum explains that his primary intention was to show the superficiality of communication between a human and a machine. He was very surprised when he realized that many users were getting caught up in the game, completely forgetting that the program was without real intelligence and devoid of any feelings and emotions. He even said that his secretary would discreetly consult Eliza to solve his personal problems, forcing the researcher to unplug the program.

Conversing with a computer thinking it is a human being is one of the criteria of Turing’s famous test. Artificial intelligence is said to exist when a human cannot discern whether or not the interlocutor is human. Eliza, in this sense, passes the test brilliantly according to its users.
Eliza thus opened the way (or the voice!) to what has been called chatbots, an abbreviation of chatterbot, itself an abbreviation of chatter robot, literally “talking robot”.

Source: https://chatbotslife.com/who-is-chatbot-eliza-bfeef79df804?source=rss—-a49517e4c30b—4

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FermiNet: Quantum Physics and Chemistry from First Principles

Weve developed a new neural network architecture, the Fermionic Neural Network or FermiNet, which is well-suited to modeling the quantum state of large collections of electrons, the fundamental building blocks of chemical bonds.

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Unfortunately, 0.5% error still isn’t enough to be useful to the working chemist. The energy in molecular bonds is just a tiny fraction of the total energy of a system, and correctly predicting whether a molecule is stable can often depend on just 0.001% of the total energy of a system, or about 0.2% of the remaining “correlation” energy. For instance, while the total energy of the electrons in a butadiene molecule is almost 100,000 kilocalories per mole, the difference in energy between different possible shapes of the molecule is just 1 kilocalorie per mole. That means that if you want to correctly predict butadiene’s natural shape, then the same level of precision is needed as measuring the width of a football field down to the millimeter.

With the advent of digital computing after World War II, scientists developed a whole menagerie of computational methods that went beyond this mean field description of electrons. While these methods come in a bewildering alphabet soup of abbreviations, they all generally fall somewhere on an axis that trades off accuracy with efficiency. At one extreme, there are methods that are essentially exact, but scale worse than exponentially with the number of electrons, making them impractical for all but the smallest molecules. At the other extreme are methods that scale linearly, but are not very accurate. These computational methods have had an enormous impact on the practice of chemistry – the 1998 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to the originators of many of these algorithms.

Fermionic Neural Networks

Despite the breadth of existing computational quantum mechanical tools, we felt a new method was needed to address the problem of efficient representation. There’s a reason that the largest quantum chemical calculations only run into the tens of thousands of electrons for even the most approximate methods, while classical chemical calculation techniques like molecular dynamics can handle millions of atoms. The state of a classical system can be described easily – we just have to track the position and momentum of each particle. Representing the state of a quantum system is far more challenging. A probability has to be assigned to every possible configuration of electron positions. This is encoded in the wavefunction, which assigns a positive or negative number to every configuration of electrons, and the wavefunction squared gives the probability of finding the system in that configuration. The space of all possible configurations is enormous – if you tried to represent it as a grid with 100 points along each dimension, then the number of possible electron configurations for the silicon atom would be larger than the number of atoms in the universe!

This is exactly where we thought deep neural networks could help. In the last several years, there have been huge advances in representing complex, high-dimensional probability distributions with neural networks. We now know how to train these networks efficiently and scalably. We surmised that, given these networks have already proven their mettle at fitting high-dimensional functions in artificial intelligence problems, maybe they could be used to represent quantum wavefunctions as well. We were not the first people to think of this – researchers such as Giuseppe Carleo and Matthias Troyer and others have shown how modern deep learning could be used for solving idealised quantum problems. We wanted to use deep neural networks to tackle more realistic problems in chemistry and condensed matter physics, and that meant including electrons in our calculations.

There is just one wrinkle when dealing with electrons. Electrons must obey the Pauli exclusion principle, which means that they can’t be in the same space at the same time. This is because electrons are a type of particle known as fermions, which include the building blocks of most matter – protons, neutrons, quarks, neutrinos, etc. Their wavefunction must be antisymmetric – if you swap the position of two electrons, the wavefunction gets multiplied by -1. That means that if two electrons are on top of each other, the wavefunction (and the probability of that configuration) will be zero.

This meant we had to develop a new type of neural network that was antisymmetric with respect to its inputs, which we have dubbed the Fermionic Neural Network, or FermiNet. In most quantum chemistry methods, antisymmetry is introduced using a function called the determinant. The determinant of a matrix has the property that if you swap two rows, the output gets multiplied by -1, just like a wavefunction for fermions. So you can take a bunch of single-electron functions, evaluate them for every electron in your system, and pack all of the results into one matrix. The determinant of that matrix is then a properly antisymmetric wavefunction. The major limitation of this approach is that the resulting function – known as a Slater determinant – is not very general. Wavefunctions of real systems are usually far more complicated. The typical way to improve on this is to take a large linear combination of Slater determinants – sometimes millions or more – and add some simple corrections based on pairs of electrons. Even then, this may not be enough to accurately compute energies.

Source: https://deepmind.com/blog/article/FermiNet

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