nQube, which specialises in the development of artificial intelligence-based algorithms and software, has described winning the 2017 GiGse LaunchPad competition as a pivotal development in the company’s history and praised the initiative for giving a voice to small, innovative companies seeking to enter the gaming space.
The company, based out of Winnipeg, Canada, won the GiGse 2017 LaunchPad with their AI-based evolutionary algorithm that optimizes the mix and location of slot machines on the casino floor, to achieve an uplift in casino win (drop). Led by co-founders Dr. Jason Fiege, who is also a computational astrophysics professor, and Dr. Stasi Baran, a former physicist, and electrical and computer engineer, nQube is now focused on ‘Big Data’ issues impacting the casino industry after successfully tackling challenging mathematical problems in science, engineering, and medicine.
Expanding on their GiGse LaunchPad experience, Stasi Baran said: “Just preparing for the competition itself allowed us to think about our company in a different way. As scientists, we were coming from a space that is acutely focused on research and development. We were thankful for the invaluable guidance of Melissa Blau from iGaming Capital, who provided great advice and insight, helping us to refine the presentation and message that we were conveying to the audience. The preparation for the LaunchPad had us thinking about our company, where we would be in one to five years, and how to think about our slot floor optimization product from a commercial point of view.”
Jason Fiege added: “Not only did GiGse allow us to connect with casino properties and collaborators, like iGaming Capital and Casino Science out of Vancouver/Seattle, it also allowed us to obtain our first real data sets, which we used to challenge our models. We quickly discovered how subtle this data really is, and it led to a long process of refinement – eight generations of our model in total, and many, many iterations of our computational techniques – until we were convinced that we were getting everything right. We began heavily focused on the slot machines themselves, but the model has evolved to become very player-centric – we use historical data to follow carded players from machine to machine around the floor, group them into segments, and calculate the probability that each player segment will play each machine. We have created a detailed mathematical theory of how players interact with a casino slot floor. The underlying theory is subtle and mathematically beautiful, with a lot of features that look surprisingly like physics.”
The GiGse LaunchPad is accepting submissions until Friday, April 27, 2018. The selected finalists will receive a small exhibition space in the Start-Up Zone in the GiGse Exhibition area, and two complimentary GiGse delegate passes. The winner of the GiGse LaunchPad 2018 will receive a free exhibition booth at the 2019 show.