Earle Hall on predicting problem gaming with blockchain and AI


Earle Hall, CEO of AXES.ai and chair of the GSA Blockchain group, splits his time researching and working on the bleeding edge of technology and preaching about its use cases. He recently joined Becky Liggero Fontana at G2E Asia to share his thoughts on blockchain, artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology, and what he sees coming in the future with each of them.

Fontana began by asking what got him to go on the road talking about blockchain. “Because I was scared to death,” he answered simply. “With my team, we built a cloud company that picks up information in about fifty countries. Quantum computers are real, we were really, really worried about hacking and all these types of things. So what we did was we started to migrate towards a Microsoft blockchain solution to create more security, less chances of being hacked, and especially to be able to integrate all the new tools that are coming out.”

Hall stressed to Fontana though that blockchain has to be seen as more than just Bitcoin. “Crypto is by far the most used application inside of a blockchain today,” he admitted. “First of all, what blockchain does is, it’s not crypto. What blockchain does is it securely puts information inside of a chain so that it’s a lot harder to hack it. But once it’s inside of that chain it’s actually a standard piece of information. Once its standard, you can move it around.”

Where blockchain becomes a game changer is in helping regulators share information across their jurisdictions. “Because in the United States, you have a whole bunch of jurisdictions, there’s 30 or 40 of them.” Hall noted. “All over Europe there’s jurisdictions. And there all trying to do the same thing individually. Now here’s what blockchain does: if one jurisdiction, a majeure jurisdiction had a very good blockchain that had a responsibility gaming policy sitting inside of it, they would be able to share their information with the next jurisdiction and actually adhere to any rules, like in Europe there’s the GDRP privacy rules. So by sharing information, you can protect people, but at the same time detect if there’s problem gaming.”

Blockchain isn’t the only technology Hall likes to speak about though. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also have a huge role to play in helping fight problem gaming. “First of all, one thing I’ve said for the last three years consecutively is I don’t believe in AI without blockchain,” he stressed. “When you do science, whether it be physics, chemistry, biology, you’re always looking to make sure that you don’t contaminate your sample, because if you contaminate it, you’re never going to get the right result. So blockchain gives you the environment, the setting, to have what I call true data.”

But with AI, people can be helped far earlier than ever before. “AI, all it wants to do is tell you before somebody has a problem, because in today’s world were flagging people that have problems,” Hall explained to Fontana. “So if you want to look at somebody that may have a problem in the future, you have to look at facial features, you have to look at eye movement, you have to look at lips movement, you have to look at twitches, you have to look at nervous movement that they have as they move through their betting patterns. And it’s not only the eye movement but maybe somebody’s clicking at the same time they’re spinning faster, because they’re getting really mad because they’re not winning so they’re trying to go faster to bring back their money.”

Hall concluded by noting this is where his current focus is: identifying the animalistic responses that can indicate a problem brewing. “That’s what were up to, trying to figure out way before someone is a problem gambler that they’re starting to show the signs of freeze and distress that will bring them to eventually problem gambling.”