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Artificial intelligence, or AI, is becoming integrated with almost every aspect of human life. From virtual home assistants to self-driving cars, it is only going to become a bigger part of our lives as time moves forward. It has been in development pretty much since there have been computers. AI will continue to dominate all of the automation-based improvements to our lives for quite a while. What exactly is AI?
AI is essentially a computer program that collects and analyses data and then chooses the best way to process this data. This can range from carrying out a task to just keeping the data in order to make a faster decision in the future. AI ranges from simple programs that control one specific task to neural networks that are linked together to carry out vast numbers of interlinked tasks all at once.
Neural networks generally tend to be used for more complex tasks such as facial recognition and speech recognition. Simpler AI is used for less complex tasks such as video game AI and automated booking systems. Possibly the most common usage for AI is video games, and it is certainly a driver behind a large number of AI advances over the last 20 years and any advances that are likely to come in the future.
AI offers a number of different features for video games. Whether it is the tanks that follow you around in a war game or the random sequences of reels in a video slot, the way that the game interacts with the user is dictated by AI. This process has improved in quality significantly over the years, firstly with the introduction of the A* pathfinding algorithm. However, since the introduction of this, things have moved on to much more advanced areas. AI is now able to learn and adapt at a rate once thought impossible. Because of the hard work that has been put into AI by programmers, the quality of how games interact with users has moved forward in leaps and bounds.
In terms of online casinos, AI has a huge amount of influence on how the games work. Not only has AI been integrated to ensure that the games are completely random, but it has also been utilised to ensure that the games are completely fair. This is done in a number of ways.
Firstly, for card-based games, the AI will ensure that the deck or shoe, depending on the game, contains all of the cards that it should. If you are playing Blackjack or Baccarat, the shoe will contain all of the correct cards. If you are playing Poker, then the deck will be a complete deck. The next thing that the AI will do is make sure that the deck or shoe is shuffled correctly. The cards will be placed in a completely random order. This actually has the potential to offer a more random shuffle than a real-life one, such is the complexity and quality of the AI that controls it. This ensures that the fairness of the game is never in question because the cards will behave just as they would in a real-life casino.
For video slots, it works in a similar way. Upon each spin, the reels will be randomised. While they spin, the AI will randomly choose what to place on the reels. The different combinations of symbols are chosen randomly to ensure that every single spin has the same chance of creating a winner. In addition to this, the AI also calculates the winning lines and then also uses algorithms to choose the correct winners in the case of multiple winners being on the same line. This ensures the fairness of the game throughout and makes sure that online video slots offer the same levels of clarity that are on offer with real-life casino slots.
The way that AI is developing and improving means that there is a lot of scope for future uses of AI within gaming. Remembering certain ways that players like to play is one of the biggest ones. By learning from players, it can offer a more interactive experience. This will allow online casinos, as an example, to more accurately suggest new games to players. It will also allow them to cater the experience to exactly what users like. This will instantly make the online casino experience not just more in line with a real-life casino experience, but also far superior. There is also the added bonus of new, more advanced games being created to really take the online casino experience to the next level. Augmented reality and AI working together could create a gaming experience that no real-life casino could ever offer.
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Words: Sean McNulty
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