Artificial Intelligence and sports betting
The future of betting, poker, chess, and some other logic games surely belongs to AI. It is inevitable. No wonder – old methods that some of you could actually use will still be available in bookmaking for the next several years. However, in the near future, let’s say 10 to 30 years, they may become outdated. That is why it is worth to wrap your head around new ideas, new trends, and move alongside with the changes.
Let’s begin our journey in the 90s
Does any one of you remember about arbitration situations that are also known as surebets? When Internet was just making its first steps, a lot of people could find the so-called sure bets. It was basically a phenomenon, where a person could place a bet in two different bookmakers on two different results and he would earn a bit either way. The whole situation was possible because bookmakers did not use any system that compare the stakes throughout different bookmakers.
However, later on the biggest companies introduced special software that started to compare rates (known as BetRadar 2001). This software was later on integrated with systems of particular bookmakers in the way they received notifications when arbitration situation occurred. The players, who applied this method, were reduced to the amounts of stakes. However, in the era of Internet, such situations were not a problem, since users could create new accounts on different people. Still, the introduction of this software made surebets a bit more difficult to practice.
The era of information
As the technology developed more and more, the new methods for bookmakers appeared. It is very important for us to understand that thanks the fact that computing power of computers progressed beyond any imaginations, the first supercomputer, Deep Blue that is, defeated Garry Kasparov, one of the best chess players in the world. It happened in 1997.
Read also: How to place sports bets?
The same thing concerns players! Except for bookmakers, bettors were also the ones that benefited from the access to huge amount of data. This data could be, as you probably guessed, processed statistically, what created enormous possibilities when it comes to betting. Obviously, this was not an ideal approach, because it is difficult to take into account each and every element while creating an algorithm, since no matter how advanced computer is, it will never take into account environmental elements, the rumours and other things that may have an exterior impact on the behaviour of the player or the team. Still, it created a solid base for creating a general estimations when it comes to chances of particular teams/players to win.
The first AI programs created with the thought of betting appeared in years 2000-2010. The most popular one that appealed to the taste of almost everyone was Odds Wizard. This was one of the first methods that could provide users with an advantage over bookmaker. Some projects failed, but the ones that actually survived, are quite interesting and worth taking them into account.
The era of Artificial Intelligence
Although the first supercomputers that were capable of defeating human brains appeared in the late 90s, it was only in recent years that DeepMind company, which was later on taken by Google, developed a project called AlphaGo Zero, which later on was capable of defeating the European champion in “Go” – Fan Fui. A noteworthy is the fact that many people believe that Go is a game considered to be much more difficult to understand and to master than chess.
Of course the fact that everyday people were capable of accessing at least some of the features provided by this incredible technology was very important for the development of betting systems. Although these applications and projects become more and more advanced and sophisticated in the way they were programmed, they are still limited by many factors – like for example RAM memory.
It doesn’t change the fact that much more projects become more and more advanced and capable of defeating human beings in some of the games. Libratus is yet another example of how artificial intelligence can be better than man. In 2017 this project managed to beat the best poker players in the world!
Read also: Is match fixing still a thing?
What about bookmaking technology?
Despite the fact most of these projects were able to defeat humans, it is uncertain whether they will be introduced in any way. It is worth to mention that up to this day, bookmakers are making use of technologies that were introduced in the era of Information. It is due to the fact that this technology, known also as Big Data, is verified and trusted one. And although it does not offer such precision when it comes to estimating stakes, since they do not take into account such “unusual” aspects as weather, the possibility of injury of important player, and some other, this is a great piece of method that allows bookmakers to deal with typical matches effortlessly, without any worries.
At this moment artificial intelligence is not going to do well with atypical patterns. However, the thing is that since 90s, the world has developed extremely fast and new possibilities made things, which earlier on were impossible, very realistic to achieve. This is the reason why the next 10, 20, or 39 years will be crucial for not only the market of betting, but also the use of artificial intelligence in general. The algorithms that may be used in the near future will show you that even the professional bettor will have difficult time against bookmaker that is using a highly sophisticated machine with artificial intelligence to put the right value and get rid of surebets for good.
Summary and conclusion – is AI really the future of bookmaking?
Today we are living in the world, where technological growth is so rapid that it is very hard to catch up with all the technology even if we are interested in it. The same obviously concerns bookmaking and betting, especially after 2015. This was the year of revolutionary projects and designs that in the future may change the way we perceive bookmakers and bettors.
It is just a matter of time before people will start using artificial intelligence in many different activities and games like for example chess, poker, or bookmaking. Of course it does not mean that there will be no AI in our everyday lives! It will take just a moment for artificial intelligence to appear in, for example, vacuum robots, or in the future even in humanoid robots!
Read also: What are the virtual sports?
The thing that limits the use of artificial intelligence in our life is simply our imagination. Although many companies are developing AI for many different characteristics, they still refuse to provide this technology for a military sector, what can delay the possible introduction of AI into war machines.
That is why it is about time to get to know more about AI and make use of its possibilities. So, if you know how to use it, then this is the best moment to do that. If; however, you haven’t heard about any of the projects that make use of artificial intelligence, then we recommend you start reading!