AI & Gamification – Risks and Rewards

Gamification as a concept has been around for quite a while, long before AI was first mentioned. We’ve always looked for ways to make menial tasks as fun and enjoyable as possible. If we’re having fun, we’re more likely to engage and devote our time to more important tasks.

In essence, gamification can be defined as the process of applying elements like a scoring system or a form of healthy competition (elements typically found in games) to boost customer engagement in marketing, for example, or to improve morale within an organization.

Gamification can be found everywhere, from education to finance, and people have found it to be rather entertaining and fun. Gamification builds loyalty, and advancing the technology behind gamification will set the stage for many use cases. 

One of the most buzzing technologies today is artificial intelligence. AI is all around us, and we might not even be aware of it. Currently, AI is changing practices, industries, and corporations. 

Below, we’ll talk about the relationship between artificial intelligence and gamification, highlight some of the benefits this combination promises to bring, and explain a couple of risks that might hinder it. 

The Relationship Between AI and Gamification

The relationship between artificial intelligence and gamification is new, and it’s still evolving.

AI has many practical applications today. Some noteworthy ones are in the finance and healthcare sectors, where AI is used to predict and automate certain processes. In regards to gamification, AI is mostly used to improve the learning process and in recruitment, but there are other applications.

Nevertheless, when you think about it, combining AI and gamification seems and feels quite powerful.

Both machine learning and gamification are concepts that are still improving, and businesses are still exploring ways to utilize their merger fully.

For instance, when dealing with large amounts of data, AI is used to convert raw data into actionable data. It can be “taught” to differentiate important data and organize it adequately. This practice can make gamification more efficient. For instance, when teaching employees about safety protocols through gamification, AI can gather and analyze data and provide actionable insights.

Games are well known for their ability to support the process of learning. Therefore, combining gamification with certain AI practices can improve and streamline the learning process.

The technology behind AI and the methodology behind gamification, if executed correctly, can be beneficial in more ways than one. 

The Benefits of These Technologies 

There are many benefits to the combination of AI and gamification. 

Improved Efficiency

AI is one of the most useful tools for increasing the efficiency of virtually anything, gamification included. The gamification process becomes that much more smart and personal through artificial intelligence, allowing for better implementation. 

Less Repetitiveness

Gamification is only as efficient and useful as its appeal, and its appeal begins to fade away at an alarming rate once everything becomes repetitive. Finding new ways to apply gamification can be a daunting task. But AI can come to the rescue. Recruiters, for instance, can use it to analyze the current situation. After this process is done, AI can suggest new options. 

AI can improve the gamification process by devising unique solutions on a situational level, meaning that no two processes will ever be the same, keeping gamification clear, clean, and crisp.

Reduced Costs

Programming is expensive – there’s no doubt about it. Any cutting-edge technology is on the pricier side, but through the use of artificial intelligence solutions, gamification can become cheaper to operate. Yes, you do have to invest in the initial solution, and you will perhaps have some maintenance costs, but once the AI is set and implemented to your gamification practices, you can use it for a long time.

Automated Tasks

One of  AI’s many applications is automation. For instance, in health care, AI can be used to predict and schedule procedures, assign doctors, improve workflows, etc., thus automating many otherwise manual tasks in the hospital. One can say that automation is the key to progress, and Artificial Intelligence is the key holder. 

Through AI advancement, everything from transactions to accounting can be automated, including a selection of other things in many different industries. 

In regards to gamification, and if we use learning as an example, AI can be used to streamline checking multiple-choice answers and grading. The student or employee can receive results immediately after taking the test. Based on the results, AI can be used to suggest further reading materials to help students improve in areas where they are lacking.

AI can also be used to evaluate teachers – if a certain class is not showing good results in a certain area, perhaps it’s the teacher or the material used for teaching that can be improved. 

It would take months, even years, to come to that conclusion, and AI can do it pretty fast, almost instantly.

The “Fun Factor”

Gamification is mostly reliant on its fun factor, and as the technology advances, our conceptualization of fun changes. What people thought was fun back in the 1950’ isn’t exactly the bee’s knees these days, so gamification needs to evolve alongside the times.

That isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do. We live in a day and age where we’re continually exposed to all kinds of stimuli and media, which means that people who use gamification have a tough job to make things such as education, which most people don’t find all that fun, even moderately attractive.

AI seems to show a lot of promise to change that. Basing decisions on refined data is sure to improve the teacher’s decision-making process. He or she will be able to improve lectures and add gamification elements that are more likely to be accepted by students in their class.

Risks of AI & Gamification 

While the two seem to be highly mutually beneficial, this advent poses a couple of risks that could be quite damaging to the things they’re trying to improve. 

Lower Human Productivity

Perhaps the worst part about gamification and artificial intelligence is that they make things as straightforward and streamlined as possible. Why is this an issue? Well, it harms human productivity. 

One of the things that keep us as a species as advanced and productive is our continual and personal investment in our work. If not executed correctly, gamification can remove certain challenges that make the work fun. For instance, certain gamification elements in teaching can bluntly show the answer to a particular question, whereas it would be better if students reached a conclusion on their own.

Finding solutions to problems that are presented to us is the driving force behind human productivity. The rapid advancement of AI is inevitably changing the way we think and work. If we are not careful, AI can make us very lazy, and, as we all know, laziness harms productivity in every way. 

Not Taking Tasks Seriously

The implementation of gamification, in moderation, has been around for a while. The best way to get someone interested in something is to present it so they can engage and connect, which means investing your time and patience. 

That is pretty serious business, and taking things in a serious tone means that we retain most, if not all, of the things we’re doing at the current moment. As AI and gamification advance, there’s a real risk of making things too simple, negatively impacting our motivation. 

Gamification is only as worth as its goals, and without proper goals, the perspective people have on it will be lackluster, meaning that they aren’t going to take it seriously, which defeats the whole point. 

Value Diminishes Over Time

We live in a day and age where everything is pretty fast. We’re living fast – we’re working quickly, we’re generally far faster than we used to be just a couple of decades ago. Technology isn’t marching – it’s sprinting forward to reap in a new digital age. 

That might initially sound like a good thing, but it’s problematic. As technology advances at such a rapid pace, some things that used to be worth a lot of money can become worthless in record time. Think back to when you bought your latest smartphone a year prior. It was the best that the industry had to offer at that point, and you spent a pretty penny on it. 

Today, it’s probably depreciated significantly, and it’s far inferior to lower-end smartphones of this current generation. Take this and apply it to artificial intelligence and gamification, and you’ll see why investments and value are quite a risk for a lot of companies and developers. 

In Conclusion 

The prospect of artificial intelligence is already changing the world right before our very eyes, and it is improving gamification as well. AI and gamification have a common ground, and their mutually beneficial relationship will inevitably reshape the future of gamification.

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