How the Turing Machine Influenced Random Number Generators & Subsequently Casino Games For Ever

All of the incredible technology that we have today had to start somewhere. An idea becomes an experiment, and after repeated trial and error, sometimes, it becomes an incredible success. The really successful technological breakthroughs last for centuries, evolving and changing to tackle new challenges, improve quality of life, and sometimes to provide us with new kinds of entertainment. 

There are many kinds of technology that we use everyday that have a really intriguing origin story. For example, the GPS in your car started as a way to track submarines and missiles, and random number generators, used for things like online gambling, have origins in the decoding of enemy messages in war. Let’s focus on the latter, what does online gambling have to do with the origin of computer science? 

What is a random number generator (RNG)? 

A random number generator, or RNG, is a machine, or code, that creates random numbers. This is important because even if you ask a person to give you a “random number” it can never be truly random, because of bias and predictability. However, a computer is able to give us random numbers. This is really important in things like experimental design, simulations, and also for online casinos. All legit online casinos today will have a RNG to ensure truly fair chances for users. 

RNGs today can be found in a lot of different technologies, but its origin started with the invention of software by Alan Turing, which would eventually become Turing Machines. 

What was the Turing Machine ? 

The concept of computer software, where a machine should be able to compute anything a person can, or more, along with the designs for the Turing Machine was created by Alan Turing in 1936. Turing was principally a mathematician and a computer scientist, who essentially laid the theoretical ground for computer software. He never perfected the “Turing Machine” in his lifetime, but he arguably is the father of computers today. 

Though not entirely accurate in its depiction, his story made its debut as a movie in 2014, called The Imitation Game, which highlighted his work in World War 2 in decoding German messages that helped the Allies to win the war. The work done here contributed to his understanding of how software could be developed, and how we could eventually write code that would help us create the random number generators we use today. 

Why use an RNG in online casinos? 

RNGs are used in online casinos to ensure an unbiased outcome for users. This means that no matter how much money you have played before, your loyalty to certain brands, whether you are a first time player or not, among other factors, will not influence your chance to win. This helps gamblers to have a better time playing, and keeps the fun and excitement in the game. 

The fact that your outcome is unbiased also can help users to remember that gambling is random and just because you put in more money, does not mean that you are likely to win more later. Gambling is meant to be a fun way to play and relax, and RNGs help us to keep it that way. 

Future challenges for RNG in online casino games 

Though you will see that all trustworthy online casinos will always have a RNG in place, most of them are not 100% true random number generators. This is simply because the time that it takes to produce totally random numbers is much longer.

Now, this doesn’t take away from the validity of these gambling sites, it just means there may be some predictability in the numbers coming up as you play, meaning chances to win or lose are not completely random. With time, computer scientists are working to code better and faster RNGs that can be easily integrated into your favorite online games for the best possible user experience. 

In conclusion 

The technology we use today can sometimes have very surprising origins, like that of RNGs. With time, our ability to create better software and hardware makes for a better quality of life and better user experiences for things like the RNGs used in online casino games.

Written by Kirstynn Joseph

Kirstynn graduated with a Bachelors in Ecology from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada in 2018. She was born in Yukon Territory, and is currently living in Ecuador, where she is working on various projects and exploring as much as she can before she figures out the next big adventure. She is passionate about the outdoors, about nature and conservation, and of course, science! She loves writing, art and photography and strives to share the wonders of our big mysterious world with as many people as she can.

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