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Money and mind control: Big Tech slams ethics brakes on AI

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SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS) - In September last year, Google's cloud unit looked into using artificial intelligence (AI) to help a financial firm decide whom to lend money to. It turned down the client's idea after weeks of internal discussions, deeming the project too ethically dicey because the AI technology could perpetuate biases like those around race and gender. Since early last year, Google has also blocked new AI features analysing emotions, fearing cultural insensitivity, while Microsoft restricted software mimicking voices and IBM rejected a client request for an advanced facial-recognition system. All these technologies were curbed by panels of executives or other leaders, according to interviews with AI ethics chiefs at the three US technology giants. Reported here for the first time, their vetoes and the deliberations that led to them reflect a nascent industry-wide drive to balance the pursuit of lucrative AI systems with a greater consideration of social responsibility.


INSIGHT: How Big Tech Ethics Panels Are Putting Brakes on AI

#artificialintelligence

In September last year, Google's cloud unit looked into using artificial intelligence to help a financial firm decide whom to lend money to. It turned down the client's idea after weeks of internal discussions, deeming the project too ethically dicey because the AI technology could perpetuate biases like those around race and gender. Since early last year, Google has also blocked new AI features analyzing emotions, fearing cultural insensitivity, while Microsoft restricted software mimicking voices and IBM rejected a client request for an advanced facial-recognition system. All these technologies were curbed by panels of executives or other leaders, according to interviews with AI ethics chiefs at the three U.S. technology giants. Reported here for the first time, their vetoes and the deliberations that led to them reflect a nascent industry-wide drive to balance the pursuit of lucrative AI systems with a greater consideration of social responsibility.


The ethics of AI: Should we put our faith in Big Tech?

#artificialintelligence

In September last year, Google's cloud unit looked into using artificial intelligence to help a financial firm decide whom to lend money to. It turned down the client's idea after weeks of internal discussions, deeming the project too ethically dicey because the AI technology could perpetuate biases like those around race and gender. Since early last year, Google has also blocked new AI features analysing emotions, fearing cultural insensitivity, while Microsoft restricted software mimicking voices and IBM rejected a client request for an advanced facial-recognition system. All these technologies were curbed by panels of executives or other leaders, according to interviews with AI ethics chiefs at the three US technology giants. Reuters reported for the first time their vetoes and the deliberations that led to them reflect a nascent industry-wide drive to balance the pursuit of lucrative AI systems with a greater consideration of social responsibility.


A.I. Bias Caused 80% Of Black Mortgage Applicants To Be Denied

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Artificial Intelligence and its inherent bias seems to be an ongoing contributing factor in slowing minorities home loan approvals. An investigation by The Markup found lenders were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to white people with similar financial characteristics. Specifically, 80% of Black applicants are more likely to be rejected, along with 40% of Latino applicants, and 70% of Native American applicants are likely to be denied. How detrimental is the secret bias hidden in mortgage algorithms? It's important to note that 45% of the country's largest mortgage lenders now offer online or app-based loan origination, as FinTech looks to play a major role in reducing bias in the home lending market, CultureBanx reported.


3 Ways IQ Bot Enables Financial Process Automation

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Most researchers agree approximately 80% of any organization's data is hidden in multiple sources, such as emails, PDF application forms, and paper documents. This data often goes unused because of the time and resources required to get meaningful information from it. Even then, the data often needs to be manually rekeyed into multiple locations. Combined with Robotic Process Automation (RPA), IQ Bot enables banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) companies to take advantage of intelligent document processing (IDP) to extract valuable data and streamline operations. IQ Bot blends multiple artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP), to glean relevant information from any type of document, add structure to the data, and deliver the results to multiple applications.


SEC Eyes Rules for Financial Firms' Digital Engagement Practices: Reuters

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will seek input on whether digital customer engagement innovations used by financial firms should be governed by existing rules or may need new ones, commission chair Gary Gensler told Reuters. While the SEC's thinking on the subject is at an "early stage," its rules may need updating to account for an artificial intelligence-led revolution in predictive analytics, differential marketing and behavioral prompts designed to optimize customer engagement, he said. The SEC plans to launch a sweeping consultation in coming days that could have major ramifications for retail brokers, wealth managers and robo-advisers, which increasingly use such tools to drive customers to higher-revenue products. I really believe data analytics and AI can bring a lot of positives, but it means we should look back and think about what does this mean for user interface, user engagement, fairness and bias," said Gensler. "What does it mean about rules written ...


FICO scores leave out 'people on the margins,' Upstart's CEO says. Can AI make lending more inclusive -- without creating bias of its own?

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Dave Girouard, the chief executive of the AI lending platform Upstart Holdings Inc. UPST, -2.51% in Silicon Valley, understood the worry. "The concern that the use of AI in credit decisioning could replicate or even amplify human bias is well-founded," he said in his testimony at the hearing. But Girouard, who co-founded Upstart in 2012, also said he had created the San Mateo, Calif.-based company to broaden access to affordable credit through "modern technology and data science." And he took aim at the shortcomings he sees in traditional credit scoring. The FICO score, introduced in 1989, has become "the default way banks judge a loan applicant," Girouard said in his testimony.


The Green way of defining AI in Mortgages

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When one considers the top view of the mortgage industry, it is difficult to comprehend its associated carbon footprint. After all, it primarily involves a few transactions and some amount of paperwork, right? Dig deeper into the ecosystem, and you will discover the impact of offices, computers, data centers, paper mails, and travel – each of these elements contributing to the overall carbon footprint in one way or another. While some of these are invariable and bear some amount of environmental costs, others can be curbed in measurable ways. And in light of point #10 in our Green 2030 resolution, it is imperative that financial institutions take actionable measures towards the decarbonization of the economy.


AI Recreates Concept Of LATAM Creditworthiness

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It's been a while since cash was king here in the U.S., but in other parts of the world, such as South America, paper money has managed to retain its grip, albeit slightly diminished as a result of the pandemic's many lifestyle changes that exposed cash transactions as cumbersome and risky. It's a reality that Brighterion's Sudhir Jha told PYMNTS has resulted in a pan-regional progression that is moving more Latin American consumers into digital payment solutions, even though credit penetrations remain low. "There's not a lot of historical data about consumers who are new to digital ecosystem -- that's why there is a desire to go directly to an AI-based solution in many cases, because you want a solution that works today, but also scales really well and attracts more and more customers to your system," Jha explained. That growing regional need for artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions is what motivated Brazilian insurer Porto Seguro to team with Brighterion. Announced recently, the engagement leveraged Porto Seguro's analytical expertise in combination with Brighterion's AI technology to build high-performance models custom-created to identify risks better.


Bias isn't the only problem with credit scores--and no, AI can't help

MIT Technology Review

But in the biggest ever study of real-world mortgage data, economists Laura Blattner at Stanford University and Scott Nelson at the University of Chicago show that differences in mortgage approval between minority and majority groups is not just down to bias, but to the fact that minority and low-income groups have less data in their credit histories. This means that when this data is used to calculate a credit score and this credit score used to make a prediction on loan default, then that prediction will be less precise. It is this lack of precision that leads to inequality, not just bias. The implications are stark: fairer algorithms won't fix the problem. "It's a really striking result," says Ashesh Rambachan, who studies machine learning and economics at Harvard University, but was not involved in the study.