CNBC examine current market trends in Europe for technology companies in the EDGE featuring ourselves.
ORF TV interviewed the team on 19 February regarding our years as a business on the European Union and the proposed referendum.
Dr Peter Chadha shares his views on cyber security and password best practice with The Times. This is a must read. Due to space limitations, expanded tips such as two factor authentication weren’t included in the piece, but, handily, are all covered in Peter’s 7 tips to help you avoid falling victim to cyber attacks.
"The future will bring increasing amounts of artificial intelligence with deep thinking algorithms that are able to replace people from doing mundane work. For example a call centre representative has to interact with 10 different systems to help a customer, whereas artificial intelligence or software robotics can bring all of the information together and remove the drudgery of this task. Eventually the call centre operator will be completely replaced by computers, and to some extent this is already happening with sophisticated voice recognition and artificial intelligence systems used by many large corporates."
Dr Peter Chadha, CEO, DrPete Technology Experts
Initially mobile technology had the gaming industry excited, encouraging gaming on-the-go. Recently, the “mobile” buzzword has been replaced by “omni-channel”, as gaming services adapt delivery across a range of channels – bricks and mortar to virtual – using flexible distribution to stimulate player retention and industry growth.
Looking ahead, biometric technology is appearing over the horizon. Technology that can interpret the emotional state of players and possibly even adapt games, in-play, accordingly. Welcome to the newest gaming zeitgeist: a phenomenon we’re calling “reactive gaming”.
Tech observers will have noticed a significant increase in biometric science being aimed at consumers; no longer just the domain of the medical world – where instant blood analysis or physical response testing is commonplace. Now, the use of fingerprint, face and speech recognition technology is becoming a regular security component of business and domestic computing and that is just the beginning.
Recently, Michael Rubenstein demonstrated the vibration of a single piece of paper lying on a table in a room being monitored from a distance, through glass, and used to interpret the words spoken by people in the room. The technology is so accurate that heart rates can be detected by monitoring the neck pulse of an individual, again from a significant distance, without the individual being aware of being observed. All of this is achieved with readily-available technology, including public domain algorithms, cameras and smartphones.
Big Brother or big benefits?
This may sound a bit ‘Star Trek’, or worse ‘Big Brother’, but we predict reactive gaming using this type of technology may be an industry standard within 10-20 years. It will be almost like playing against a highly skilled 'robot' reacting similarly to a human opponent watching for ‘tells’.
There are some potentially significant and positive benefits to reactive gaming. By understanding the physiological and emotional state of a player in real-time, very subtle changes could be made, in-play, retaining players for longer without affecting overall pay-out.
For example, without changing overall random play algorithms, if the biometrics are showing a player becoming noticeably angry following a lengthy losing streak – or fully relaxed after a sustained winning streak – the pay-out frequency could be altered slightly to calm or stimulate the player.
While reactive gaming can give the casino greater game input, it does not mean the player loses out. So, while pay-outs may be set slightly lower for each win, the game could pay-out more frequently, thus retaining the overall win-loss ratio but providing a more satisfying player experience, similar to the bingo model.
There is also an opportunity greater player control – at least in terms of emotional interaction with the game – by, for example, offering a 'volatility index' during play. Players could choose the scale and frequency of wins and losses, determined by their physiological reactions such as heart rate, pupil size and so on. Thus, if they select a ‘volatile’ gaming experience, the wins and losses would be squeezed harder to increase their biometric responses; a more ‘even’ game would be provided lower down the volatility scale. Again, this would not affect overall pay-outs but enhance the gaming experience.
We believe reactive gaming could also support the recent legislative drive for ‘responsible’ gambling. The ability to track physiological trends, combined with betting behaviour, size of stakes and so on, could indicate to casinos when someone is gambling beyond their means or capabilities.
In essence, reactive gaming technology makes the task of protecting vulnerable players easier and, consequently, simplifying the ability to evidence corporate responsibility in this regard.
Over land and cloud
Critically, biometric technology and reactive gaming will be as effective in land-based casinos as online. Heart rate monitors on table tops, combined with breathing and pupil reaction analysis through remote technology, could become the norm for land-based playing, while headsets and web-cam technology would cover the online community.
Recent legislation in Nevada - allowing skill-based elements to be added to traditional gambling machines - could be the first meaningful step towards reactive gaming, as more gambling results become influenced by something other than a random number generator.
Whichever way this technology develops, reactive gaming will certainly provide a totally new interaction between player and casino and add whole new levels of communication and entertainment between the two.
Link to the orgibal article..http://www.egrmagazine.com/news/opinion_biometric_technology_could_revolutionise_egaming
“It’s so easy to lie,” said University of Massachusetts psychologist Robert S. Feldman in 2002. Feldman had just authored a report which found that 60% of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation and told an average of two to three lies. Last month, Dr. Peter Chadha, CEO of business and IT consultants Dr Pete, posed the question of whether this inherent lying could actually be detected using new technology and asked what benefit this would have for business.
It’s an intriguing question which he claims was in part prompted by global pharmaceutical firm Sanofi’s ex-CEO Christopher Viehbacher hitting the headlines following a series of boardroom bust-ups. Viehbacher was accused of being economical with details about company deals, including plans to sell off an $8bn portfolio of off-patent medicine, reports said.
“Would he have revealed his plans to the board if he knew Big Brother was watching his every movement?” asks Dr. Chadha.
Probably not. Dr Chadha suggests that this is “not the domain of the CIA” and suggests that anyone could in theory get access to the latest technology to develop their own Big Brother system.
“Advances in cloud computing and an amplification algorithm combined with physiology and psychology means a simple smartphone recording, video conferencing footage, or Google Glass real-time video can be used with cloud computing to identify the physiological state of the CEO or IT director you've just had a business meeting with,” continues Dr Chadha. “In effect, without any ECG probes, these algorithms can detect any micro-signalling with a high degree of certainty in real time to know instantly if what they've told you is in fact true.”
It seems excessive but when billions of dollars are at stake you never quite know how large corporations are going to play. The benefits to decision-makers could override any legal or moral case for its deployment.
Dr. Chadha suggests a possible scenario.
“Imagine conducting a video conference with a potential business partner; they are telling you all about how great their new product is. Then, BUZZ… your smartwatch vibrates letting you know that there are signs that they are perhaps not being totally honest, just before you place an order for 10,000 units. Would you still place the order?”
So is this all possible? In 2014 Michael Rubinstein, a computer scientist working out of a Google lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, delivered a TED talk that unveiled a visual magnification technology that can determine changes in people’s heartrates through amplifying microscopic movements and colour changes in the skin. It’s still impressive viewing and the technology is creeping forward steadily.
Rubinstein admits that surveillance is one of the first applications that springs to mind, especially when it comes to being able to determine sounds and conversations by visually recording the tiny vibrations in nearby plants or movable objects and inverting the process. It’s very clever and although the quality is not great you can see where it is going.
But is it right? Business decision makers might argue that it could be justified if it means the business is not duped, saves costs, gets better deals and so on. But equally this could be deemed a slippery slope. Even if a business uses the technology, probably discreetly, for its own ends, where will it stop?
Chris Dyson, partner at law firm Ashfords, suggests that any commercial advantage would be countered by greater negative impacts, especially if the process was revealed in any way. And it would be an almost impossible secret to keep.
So could it be used above board? In the US it is actually illegal to put employees through a polygraph. In other parts of the world it is not necessarily illegal but whether or not it would have any value, particularly in terms of further legal action, is debatable.
“It is unlikely that polygraph evidence would be considered admissible in court or at an employment tribunal, though it would be a matter for the court to decide in each case,” says Dyson.
There is a UK precedent.In Stephen Robert Allen v FCA (6 August 2014) (FS/2012/0019), a recent decision of the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), the individual who was the subject of proceedings by the FCA to disqualify him from practising a regulated activity was not permitted to rely on a polygraph test to demonstrate his truthfulness.
“Any application of a polygraph would have to be with the subject’s consent,” adds Dyson. “There is no scientific consensus as to the accuracy of polygraphs. The main problem is false positives. However, several police forces have recently started to use polygraphs to monitor convicted sex offenders but anyone considering using a polygraph would need to consider compliance with any applicable general law, such as the Data Protection Act.”
For businesses this is surely a case of not ‘when’ but ‘if’ and that ‘if’ is surely the moral obligation to employees and customers. If that can be upheld then perhaps there is scope but that would mean transparency of use, which would undermine its usefulness anyway and probably lead to reputational damage. Few businesses can afford that. And that’s the truth.