New AI Identifies Problem Gamblers Through Facial Recognition Technology

Posted on: January 23, 2018, 06:00h. 

Last updated on: January 23, 2018, 04:08h.

Casino security may have just moved into a brave new world, or a creepy Orwellian nightmare, depending on your point of view.

AI technology casinos
Casino facial recognition technology from Human aims to take social responsibility to a new level, but does it go too far? (Image:

Artificial intelligence company Human claimed this week to have developed new technology that combines facial recognition software with artificial emotional intelligence (AEI) to create a program that can monitor player anxiety and depression in real-time by analysing “subliminal facial expressions.”

Casinos were early adopters of facial recognition technology, specifically “scale-invariant feature transform” (SIFT) software, but this is largely used to spot known card counters so they can be summarily ejected from the premises. And it also helps identify new ones by recognizing players who appear to be making suspicious bets with questionable regularity, just so they can be ejected from the premises in the future.

Future of Social Responsibility

But Human is proposing something else entirely. The company believes its software will contribute to social responsibility in the casino sector by identifying potential problem gamblers. It will do this by using deep learning which will decipher “characteristic traits and emotions,” as Yi Xu, CEO and founder of Human explains.

“When it comes to the world of gambling, social responsibility is a big focus area,” he said in a presser this week.

The ongoing scanning of people’s emotions and characteristics in casinos and other gambling environments has provided our clients with the ability to flag any extreme highs and lows in players’ emotions, for example, if a player is gambling irresponsibly or while distressed.”

“When narrowed down to extreme happiness, sadness, nervousness amongst others, it is giving providers the foresight and ability to increase their commitment to social responsibility, to track behavior and to take appropriate action in advance of a situation worsening,” he added.

Training Tool for Poker Players?

Setting aside, for now, all legal, political and philosophical questions about personal freedom and privacy, this is unlikely to be something casinos will embrace wholeheartedly, unless instructed to do by gambling regulators as a condition of their licensing.

But Human’s technology has other applications, which include advanced poker training; specifically helping players to regulate their poker faces and eliminate non-verbal tells at the table.

This seems more promising. Having toppled mankind as the universe’s most dominant force in heads-up no limit hold’em, it’s nice that AI is now giving something back to the shell-shocked poker community.