Students will develop an AI-driven Virtual Casino Host using OpenAI’s API. The system will track players’ gaming activity, analyze their behavior and preferences, and then tailor and suggest offers to encourage increased activity at the casino.
Students on this team must be a minimum of 21 years old to be legally allowed in the casino facility. There will be several trips required to develop an understanding of environment on the casino floor, the users’ experience, and staff knowledge. You must turn 21 years of age on/before January 10, 2024, to be a member of this team.
Effectively engaging with customers requires an understanding of their behavior patterns and preferences, and access to tools to efficiently connect with them. The MotorCity Casino marketing group employs various levels of engagement and mechanisms for communication from “high touch,” individual relationship managers for the highest spending/most frequent customers, to “low touch,” general bulk email messages sent to all loyalty card members. The student team will create a system that supports significantly enhanced, highly automated customization of marketing communications and then incorporates suggested strategies (from data analysis and AI implementation) to marketing managers. The system will track players’ gaming activity, analyze their behavior and preferences, and then tailor and suggest offers for the marketing managers to implement.
A successful project will provide a tool that greatly increases the efficiency of marketing managers in providing a “high touch” personalized engagement with a much larger proportion of the MotorCity Casino clients. In addition, successful data analysis and an AI engine will identify new or improved mechanisms of engagement.
Minimum Viable Product Deliverable (Minimum level of success)
- Develop an understanding of the current business processes through user interviews with a range of MotorCity managers including data structures currently utilized in tracking client engagement, spending, interests, etc.
- Literature review of relevant forecasting techniques, similar applications, patents, etc.
- Utilize the OpenAI API and Python to create and extend existing AI model. The model should accept a player’s gaming data as input and generate appropriate offers as output. The basis for these offers can initially be as simple as recommending offers that were successful with players who had similar gaming histories.
- Develop a full system prototype (Including database, basic front end/UI) to house the OpenAI model and substantially automate a short list of existing “high touch” marketing processes. This will increase the customers that can be managed/supported.
- Implement basic functionality to generate and send informational email based on a set of criteria from the Casino Marketing Department.
Expected Final Deliverable (Expected level of success)
- Refine the full system prototype and the OpenAI model based on stakeholder feedback and operational testing.
- Connect to appropriate data streams in Microsoft platform and demonstrate feasibility of ongoing data collection.
- Incorporate functionality to generate individualized text for email and suggest clients to receive particular promotions.
Stretch Goal Opportunities: (High level of success)
- Additional functions or styles of promotion/engagement automated into the system.
General Programming in Python (2 Students)
Specific Skills: Creation of integrated system (front end, back end, database, and UI) to support enhanced marketing efforts.
EECS 281 (or equivalent) is required.
The system will be built in C#/.NET.
Interest in learning techniques of AI implementation is desired.
Likely Majors: CS, DATA
Marketing Strategy (2 Students)
Specific Skills: Marketing theory and practice. Data driven decision making, analyzing and optimizing current marketing promotions and suggesting enhancements.
Students in this position must have basic skills in data science or Python coding.
Likely Majors: BBA with minor in CS or DATA, CS or DS with minor in business
AI / ML / Data Analytics (3 Students)
Specific Skills: Development of Open AI based model. Analysis of prior marketing efforts. Also contribute to developing the infrastructure of the tool.
EECS 281 (or equivalent) is required.
Likely Majors: DATA, CS, STATS
Additional Desired Skills/Knowledge/Experience
- Proactive self-motivated individuals, with strong problem-solving skills.
- Interest and ability to work in a multidisciplinary team environment.
- Skills and experience in C#/.NET development (or the ability to develop these during the project).
- Knowledge/experience of marketing theory and techniques.
- Ability to write effective marketing communications in well-written English.
- Experience with back-end text processing/email integration.
- Experience/interest in data analytics applied to a business environment.
Director of Application Development
Brian has been with MotorCity Casino Hotel since 2006 and is a life-long Michigan native. He currently leads a team of developers that create software solutions to tackle the ever-changing business needs of the competitive gaming industry. Brian and his team have designed and developed several key systems used by both guests and employees, including Mobile Apps, Guest Kiosks, Company Intranet, Hotel Booking Engine and Data Analytics Tools. Outside of work, he enjoys woodworking and brewing beer.
General Manager, MotorCity Casino Hotel
As General Manager of MotorCity Casino Hotel, John Policicchio oversees casino and hotel operations, including gaming, hospitality, marketing, workforce management, human resources, and information technology. John also oversees the exploration of new growth opportunities.
John Policicchio has been with MotorCity since 2010. During his tenure, John has overseen all marketing strategy and brand development and has been integral in the execution of business development projects and partnership, including the 2021 launch of online gaming and sports betting.
John attended the University of Michigan, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pure Mathematics. He is a past presenter at several seminars and conventions, including the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), and is a member of the Global Gaming Business Magazine “40 under 40 Emerging Leaders” class.
Michael Hess, adjunct lecturer, Solution Architect Lead at the University of Michigan and lead of the Drupal Security Team. Drupal is an open source content management framework that underlies at least 2% of the world’s websites, including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk. Hess works with the School of Information and the U-M Medical Center, teaching 3 courses on content management platform and overseeing the functionality of several campus websites. He also serves in a consulting and development role for many other University departments.
Weekly Meetings: Meeting time and location TBD.
Work Location: Work will take place on campus in Ann Arbor. There will be periodic field trips to the MotorCity Casino location in Detroit to interview stakeholders and develop a better understanding of the business environment. MDP will provide transportation to the Casino as required.
Course Substitutions: CE MDE, ChE Elective, CS Capstone/MDE, DS Capstone, EE MDE, CoE Honors, IOE Senior Design, SI Elective/Cognate
Citizenship Requirements: This project is open to all students. Note: International students on an F-1 visa will be required to declare part time CPT during Winter 2024 and Fall 2024 terms.
IP/NDA: Students will sign IP/NDA documents that are unique to MotorCity Casino.
Summer Project Activities: No summer activity will take place on the project.