Standard Chartered partners Truera to combat AI bias

Standard Chartered has partnered with US startup Truera to tackle unjust bias in artificial intelligence (AI) decision making.

The bank will use Truera’s platform to improve model quality and increase trust by analysing models and helping to identify and eliminate unjust biases in decision-making processes.

Standard Chartered said it was an active proponent of the use of AI and data analytics to better support clients and stakeholders, doing so in a responsible and trustworthy way that adheres to the pillars of fairness, ethics, transparency and self-accountability.

Machine learning, which makes it quicker and easier to analyse large amounts of data and identify patterns and trends, can lead to better performance and risk management when used correctly.

However, because machine learning models are built using complex automated algorithms, they can act like a black box, making it challenging for data scientists to explain in detail how decisions are made, and validation of a model’s effectiveness can take longer.

Standard Chartered presented a challenge to the Truera team, to help create a solution that gives greater insight into the machine learning decision making process, including being able to identify - and therefore mitigate - unjust bias.

Truera collaborated closely with the bank’s retail analytics, risk, digital and technology teams on a pilot that focused on one of its challenger credit decisioning algorithms, which uses a combination of traditional data, and with clients’ consent, alternative data.

The solution works across multiple machine learning platforms and is able to pinpoint the specific variables that influence risk scoring. It also has the ability to look for correlations between seemingly impartial variables that can act as proxies for demographic indicators such as race or gender, which could lead to the introduction of unjust bias resulting in unfair decisions.

The bank will now work with Truera to further develop the software and explore its application across a range of AI use cases.

Vishu Ramachandran, group head of retail banking at Standard Chartered, said: “Ensuring transparency and explainability in AI-based decision making is not just a competitive advantage for us, but also the right thing to do by our clients.

“Our partnership with Truera will help us better explain and justify our models, support us in building a stronger and more sustainable business as well as give confidence to both customers and regulators in the fairness of our data-driven processes and outcomes.”

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