Feedzai Fairband promoting Responsible AI

Six years ago, Pedro Bizarro, Feedzai’s Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, had an aha moment – artificial intelligence (AI) was inherently biased because it is trained on human data which holds all of our conscious and unconscious biases. Right then and there, he made it our mission to develop ethical AI. 

We created a subset of Feedzai’s Research team called FATE – Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, and Explainability. For the past six years, the FATE team has been working to embed responsible AI in not just the product, but in the entire approach of how organizations prevent, detect, and mitigate payments fraud and financial crime. 

For Feedzai, ethical AI is a mission-critical world-changing idea. And we’re thrilled Fast Company thinks so too. Today, Fast Company announced that Feedzai Fairband – the world’s most advanced AI fairness framework – is a game-changer in the push to make fairer, more Responsible AI and has been nominated in its 2021 World-Changing Idea Awards. 

Feedzai Fairband is a finalist in the Software category and has an honorable mention in the AI & Data category. Fast Company’s World-Changing Idea Awards recognize companies, products, designs, and concepts that promote innovation for the betterment of communities worldwide. The news comes on the heels of Feedzai getting recognized as “RegTech of the Year” in the 2021 Asia FinTech Awards, and “Fraud Prevention Innovation of the Year” in the Fintech Breakthrough Awards in March.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen AI evolve from a theoretical concept developed in settings like academic labs to real-world applications at financial institutions (FIs), hospitals, utility companies, and more. AI’s evolution is far from complete, however. With this highly advanced technology touching almost every aspect of our lives, from our smartphones to our home electronics to our financial services to our judicial system and more – it’s critical that AI becomes more ethical and responsible in its decision-making. Feedzai Fairband represents a significant leap forward in that effort.

As AI becomes more interwoven into our lives, it’s important that it can be trusted to make fair decisions for all the people that it influences. We’ve already seen cases of AI showing racial discrimination in lending services and hiring practices. And these are just the cases that we know about. As the world grapples with social changes on multiple fronts, we cannot allow AI bias to go unaddressed. Tackling this sometimes invisible problem is an essential step toward boosting financial inclusion and empowering individuals to access the financial services they need to buy homes, pay for college tuition, finance car loans, and more.

In the past, addressing AI bias has felt like an impossible task for FIs who saw it as a choice between allowing more financial crime and protecting customers from harmful decisions. With Feedzai Fairband, implementing Responsible AI doesn’t have to be an either/or decision for FIs. Feedzai Fairband works by allowing FIs to select models that both deliver strong risk management and reduce bias from the process. The framework automatically detects less biased machine learning models, increasing model fairness by 93% and requiring no additional model training.

With the framework in place, FIs no longer have to face a false choice between security and fairness. FIs can keep their customers safe from fraudsters and financial criminals while opening new opportunities to people who would otherwise have been denied vital financial services. Customers won’t have to experience AI bias because of their ethnicity, gender, age, or the neighborhood where they live. 

Fast Company’s 5th annual World-Changing Ideas Awards recognize innovations and innovators who are committed to solving significant global challenges from climate change to social injustice. We’re thrilled to be recognized for our efforts in the space and to make Responsible AI a priority across financial services.

AI and machine learning are no longer secret weapons reserved for larger banks with deep pockets. Smaller FIs – including community banks and credit unions – are also finding opportunities to level the innovation playing field. Download our eBook Democratizing Machine Learning for Community Banks to learn how community banks can close the machine learning gap.