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Stasi Baran Colloquium

Fri. Mar. 8 12:30 PM - Fri. Mar. 8 01:20 PM
Location: 3M69 & via Zoom

Stasi Baran, Co-founder and COO of nQube Data Science

This talk will be given virtually, however can be watched in person in room 3M69.

Headshot of Stasi Baron 

The Science of Slots: Physics-Driven AI Algorithms in the Casino Gaming Industry

Physicists are curious about the universe and everything in it, including systems beyond what we normally consider traditional physics. They are exceptionally talented at inventing the tools, techniques, and theoretical ideas required to uncover the fundamental dynamics governing complex systems, which often exhibit emergent behaviour at the macroscopic level.

I will discuss our approach to previously unsolved problem of slot floor optimization, which treats the casino floor as a complex, non-linear “ecosystem” of players and slot machines, and uses AI-driven optimization techniques to tell casino operators which slot machines to purchase, which to retire, and where to position them on the slot floor to maximize revenue.

I will also show some new results that shed light on the controversial topic of whether slot players can detect differences in slot hold – the fraction of money bet that a casino keeps on average. Standard statistical analysis shows that players cannot detect even large differences in hold due to the high volatility of slot games. However, casino slot managers are often adamant that they can. I show how Bayesian simulations reconcile this controversy by demonstrating that a network of players can indeed detect hold differences, but only if there is sufficient communication within the network.

Finally, I will share my thoughts about my journey as a physicist turned entrepreneur, detailing how my training in engineering and physics propelled me into the unexpected industry of casino gaming. I will explore the inception and growth of our company nQube, which has been conceived, founded, and managed by a team of physicists, and discuss how our physics training has been instrumental in the invention of novel AI technology deployed in casinos around the world. I will also discuss applications of our technology in sectors beyond gaming, demonstrating the broad impact of our AI-driven solutions.

BIO: Dr. Anastasia (Stasi) Baran is the Co-founder and COO of nQube Data Science. As part of a groundbreaking team that has been integrating AI into the gaming industry for several years, she has played a crucial role in developing AI-based slot floor optimization and player segmentation solutions. Driven by a desire to have fun at work, she pivoted from the academic world to the casino industry, where her innovative approach and extensive experience in implementing casino AI technologies have been essential to the success of nQube's AI-driven casino technology suite. Dr. Baran obtained her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Manitoba.. Her academic background includes a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Winnipeg and an M.Sc. in Astrophysics. With her multi-disciplinary expertise, she develops fitting applications for nQube's advanced artificial intelligence technology in casinos, merging her interests in data modeling and the gaming world to encourage innovation and efficiency.

For a Zoom invitation to this talk, please email: an.wiebe@uwinnipeg.ca.