Incorporating artificial intelligence into slot machines helps casinos improve business operations

More than a threatening term, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a synonym of innovation across many industries, particularly for casinos that have been getting reshaped by new implementations based on AI. AI has been proven to be able to change the way slot machines are being managed and played.
A recent case study based on AI used in the slot machine floor at a small tribal casino, the Elwha River Casino, showed how AI helped the company optimize its business operations.

This project was done with the intention of finding out what is exactly that part of a slot machine that contributes to people playing so the floor experience can be enhanced. To achieve this, instead of using the typical time consuming, do-it-yourself approach to getting at answers, AI is providing the data in a matter of minutes. “You have treasure troves of extraordinarily granular data right down to transactions on the slot floor,” said Jason Fiege, CEO of nQube Data Science, which participated in the study. “AI takes huge, messy data sets and makes sense of them. We all have an internal model of the world around us and we use it to make decisions; that’s how we survive. Giving computers the ability to do that is really the next frontier in AI. AI can help tremendously in understanding what the data actually means.” He added that the technology’s intention is not to replace slot managers and operators with AI machines, but to try to “enhance intuition and push things in the right direction.”

In this case study, the reorganized data provided by AI helped managers with floor optimization. They were able to figure out which games are worth buying, which ones should be out of business and where exactly would the games work better on the floor. For Fiege, this kind of segmentation process is what a machine can do well. “We do segmentations both on the player side—basically behavioral segmentation based on what players have done on the slot floor—and we also segment machines, which is an example of strategy optimization,” he added.