From construction to postal delivery services, AI is having a significant impact on every conceivable industry – and iGaming is no exception. Will it help studios and operators drive improvements and efficiencies, or will it ultimately take over at the cost of quality and a ‘human touch’?
Ivaylo Karmazov, Senior Vice President at GAN and Co-Founder at Silverback Gaming, details how iGaming studios are looking to leverage generative AI tech in game development.
Artificial intelligence – does it have the potential to replace highly skilled and talented game developers?
No. AI is a powerful and wonderful tool that can really enhance slot development, but it will never replace humans.
That’s not to say AI isn’t capable of taking a game from concept through development and on to launch, because it most likely is, but skilled and talented humans with a passion for games and slots will always be required to maximise the potential it has and to create content that players actually want to play.
AI is fantastic when it comes to generating themes, concepts and in-game features, but it needs experienced human developers to bring these elements together in a game that is fun and rewarding to play.
What role can AI play in development?
Despite the recent chatter around AI, the technology has actually been available for many years. At Silverback Gaming, we have been using generative AI to bring new ideas and concepts to the table and to unlock efficiencies across the development process.
This, combined with our remarkable team of designers, mathematicians, audio specialists and developers, means we can ramp up production and deliver new and exciting content at a scale not possible without the support of AI.
This in turn is allowing the business to grow at pace but without sacrificing the quality that we have built our reputation on.
What is generative AI?
Generative AI is a branch of artificial intelligence that uses machine learning to generate original content. It does not copy or rehash existing ideas, and that’s what makes it so great. It does this for everything from text to images and even music and sound.
This can be for anything, including the various pieces of the puzzle that make up a slot game. With slot development, the AI learns from a given data set and then uses this knowledge to create new concepts, themes, sound effects, game rules and more.
For us, it’s like having another colleague in the room to help with brainstorming and coming up with no end of ideas, graphics, sound effects and game features. That it can do this incredibly quickly also shaves off chunks of development time compared to humans going through the same process without the support of generative AI.
Where is generative AI most effective in slot development?
Generally, it is an effective way of stirring excitement within the team and boosting productivity. That it can generate never seen before themes, graphics, sound and gameplay gives our team a head start and helps them to push boundaries.
Being spurred on in this way is incredibly motivating. Generative AI can then be combined with other tools such as ChatGPT. DALL-E and MidJourney to revolutionise the development process.
ChatGPT in particular is a powerful idea generator, delivering countless game concepts and rules. Then DALL-E and MidJourney add the visual spark to the game, creating diverse and appealing graphics based on textual descriptions.
How is Silverback Gaming leveraging its capabilities to improve the development process and drive growth?
Silverback Gaming is using generative AI to improve development across four key areas:
Speed – Generative AI is like putting all your designers into turbo mode. It generates ideas, concepts and themes much faster than a human can do which means we can create more games in less time – and games that have never seen before themes and illustrations.
Scale – AI can spin hundreds of plates at the same time whereas humans can only spin a few before they start dropping and smashing on the floor. For Silverback, this means we can ramp up game production and add more quality slots to our portfolio.
Smart decisions – AI is data driven so the decisions it makes are based in fact and not on a creative hunch. By looking at player data, it can make well-informed decisions about what games players will likely want to play, taking out much of the guesswork.
Personal touch – Generative AI also has the ability to create custom gaming experiences for different players, making each game feel as though it has been designed to meet their playing preferences. In a world where personalisation is a must, this is a game-changer for slot developers.
Will AI become more ingrained in your development process as the technology improves?
Absolutely. As the technology develops and we better understand its capabilities, we will be able to identify other areas where it can add value to the process and unlock more efficiencies.
For me, the sky really is the limit when it comes to AI and the different ways it can be used to take slot development to the next level. It’s just going to take a little time to get to know it and what it can really do. But this is hugely exciting for me and the team at Silverback Gaming.
Can AI and human developers work side by side in the long term?
They will always work side by side. The only way to extract the true potential out of generative AI is to have talented and skilled human beings overseeing the process.
AI will change the way we work but when it comes to setting strategies, making key decisions, checking for quality and ultimately knowing exactly what players are looking for in a slot game, humans will never be replaced.