When people think of voice-enabled technology, it’s typically Alexa or Siri that come to mind first. However, the reality is that voice is all around us, impacting and transforming every industry from retail to financial services to tourism and entertainment.
The voice revolution is changing the way we communicate with each other, and it’s also changing the way we run our businesses as well as the way those businesses keep themselves and their customers secure. When we think about even the most unlikely places that voice might be used – like in the casino industry, for instance – we can all agree that businesses of all kinds need to keep their assets and customers safe. I believe that leaders in the casino sector need to imagine a day when voice AI and biometrics will help them be even more compliant and secure.
It’s been refreshing to see the casino industry adopt voice in certain applications. In late 2018, for example, a new joint integration was announced, which will allow casinos to utilize voice to synchronize entire management systems. More specifically, voice-controlled computer- and workforce-optimized apps will enable real-time communication between casino management systems’ core gaming and marketing capabilities. This will enable casino employees to “quickly understand players loyalty status, specific player location at a machine and deliver intel to drive personalized greeting, service or offers that surprise and delight.”
Further, speculation is rising about the use of voice technology in online casinos. Experts believe that people will soon be able to experience virtual reality gaming, in which they will be able to play their favorite slot machines on a device but feel as though they are at an actual casino.
While some casinos have started using biometric security in the form of facial recognition, I am confident that casinos would also benefit from implementing voice as a security measure. Traditionally, casinos have video cameras at every table that pick up conversations, but these recordings are extremely low quality for the simple reason that casinos are busy and noisy environments. Voice recordings as they exist today in casinos do not add true value because there is no AI and analytics behind them to help derive insights about the true intent of each conversation taking place on the casino floor. That said, the pace of technology innovation is impressive, and we have the potential to outpace even the most advanced security challenges with conversational AI.
At the end of the day, anyone can record a conversation and play it back to look for hints of criminal activity or collusion, but AI brings this to a new level. Biometric recognition, especially voice, is becoming increasingly difficult to mimic. In fact, The Guardian commented a few years back that “the way a voice sounds to the human ear is very different to the way it sounds to a computer. It may be possible to sound like another person, but it will be almost impossible to recreate all of the 100 or so physical and behavioral aspects of someone’s speech and voice ID.” Flash-forward three years later and voice recognition technology has advanced even further, making it an even more secure and reliable way to keep businesses and people safe.
While security at casinos today is already advanced and sophisticated in some ways, this is an industry defined by a significant amount of liquid capital, so vulnerability is simply not an option. Just consider that the Nevada Gaming Commission requires all casinos in the state to have enough cash onsite to cover every chip on the casino floor. For some of the larger casinos in Las Vegas, this likely means they have $70 million onsite Monday-Thursday, and then upwards of $100 million on the weekends.
And just like any other information database or system, a casino’s high-tech gambling systems, which make it “practically impossible” to cheat or rig slot machines and other games, can still be hacked just like a computer – and even a casino’s advanced security cameras can be tapped into by cyber criminals who are trying to identify vulnerable times of the day to launder money or steal assets in other ways.
The use of conversational AI would elevate the sophistication of casino security and compliance in the U.S. and around the world – and I know from discussions I’ve had as the CEO of Uniphore that there is an appetite for adopting voice in this particular sector.
First, let’s consider how voice could help casino dealers. Voice AI would allow casinos to ensure that their dealers are always acting in compliance by comparing their conversations with customers to the strict regulations and rule books that casinos have to abide by.
Further, voice AI could also help train and coach dealers to provide an even better experiences for casino goers – all via real-time insights that suggest ways that dealers could improve.
Voice biometrics could be used if known casino criminals try to change their physical identity as well. If someone changes their identify, the facial recognition technology I talked about earlier becomes almost completely useless – but if casinos had a database of the voices of known casino cheats, they would be able to catch them in the act even if they looked completely different on the outside.
Voice AI in casinos could also be used to identify fraud before it happens. This could be something as simple as dispute resolution – to confirm what was actually said at a table by a player or a dealer, if any conversations are called into question – or activities as complex as codes that players might be using to collude with accomplices standing behind another participant at a table.
The importance of security will only increase in the coming years – within the casino industry as well as across every other sector – and I strongly believe that voice will continue advancing and keeping companies across sectors safer and less vulnerable to breaches.
While today’s home assistants are oftentimes the only voice technology that many of us consider when we think about “voice,” our collective, not-too-distant future will be defined by voice integration, not just for convenience, information and shopping, but also in how we keep our personal information, our families and our businesses safe and secure.
About Umesh Sachdev
Umesh Sachdev, Co-founder and CEO of Uniphore, is a modern-day entrepreneur with a passion for technologies that have massive societal impact. Umesh co-founded Uniphore with Ravi Saraogi to bridge the communication gap between human and machine using voice and speech.