Digital Frontiers

AI, ML & Data


Toward a Global Approach to Data in the Digital Age

Ongoing economic and financial digitalization is making individual data a key input and source of value for companies across sectors, from Big Tech and pharmaceuticals to manufacturers and financial services providers. Data on human behavior and choices—our “likes,” purchase patterns, locations, social activities, biometrics, and financing choices—are being generated, collected, stored, and processed at an…

Regulating Facial Recognition in the EU

Artificial intelligence (AI) powers the use of biometric technologies, including facial recognition applications, which are used for verification, identification and categorisation purposes by private or public actors. While facial recognition markets are poised to grow substantially in the coming years, the increasing use of facial recognition technologies (FRTs) has emerged as a salient issue in…

Ethically Aligned Design

As the use and impact of autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) become pervasive, we need to establish societal and policy guidelines in order for such systems to remain human-centric, serving humanity’s values and ethical principles. These systems must be developed and should operate in a way that is beneficial to people and the environment, beyond…

Humans Keeping AI in Check – Emerging Regulatory Expectations in the Financial Sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to significantly improve the delivery of financial services. Several financial authorities have recently begun developing frameworks, outlining their expectations on AI governance and use by financial institutions. These frameworks converge on common guiding principles on reliability, accountability, transparency, fairness and ethics. While the emerging AI principles are useful, there…

Alternative Data Landscape in South Africa

71point4’s report on the alternative data landscape in South Africa has recently been published by the IFC and is available online here. The study explores the extent to which access to alternative data could enable lenders to serve traditionally under-served segments of the market. These segments include so-called thin file clients who have no credit histories, as well…

Weapons Of Math Destruction: The Power Of Oversight

Big data is making decisions about your future behind the scenes, and it’s likely you don’t even know it. This article outlines how big data has the potential to be one of the biggest threats to the liberties we’ve seen in a long time.

Utilising Mobile Big Data and AI to Benefit Society

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the health and livelihoods of much of the global population. As of March 2021, there were nearly 125 million confirmed cases of the virus around the world and over 2.7 million deaths. With social and travel restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the…

Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence: Evidence from a Survey of Machine Learning Researchers

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers are important in the development of ethics and governance of AI, including taking action against what they perceive to be unethical uses of AI. That being said, this influential group’s attitudes are not well understood, which undermines the ability to discern consensuses or disagreements between AI/ML researchers.…

Artificial Intelligence and Start-Ups in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Progress, Promises and Perils

This study examines the current use of AI in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The report maps a sample of 450 AI start-ups in LMICs in Africa and South and Southeast Asia, most of which are early-stage, home-grown solutions with a focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also explores trends and challenges…

AI Experiments

AI Experiments is a showcase for simple experiments that make it easier for anyone to start exploring machine learning, through pictures, drawings, language, music, and more.

Data Protection and Privacy for Alternative Data

The objective of this paper is to provide guidance for countries to use in considering key options to mitigate risks associated with data protection and privacy, especially related to alternative data, but not to direct adoption of unduly prescriptive legislative provisions.

De-risking in Africa: Illicit Financial Flows and Regional Economic Hubs

This two-note series from The Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion, highlights the relationship between de-risking, IFFs and capital flows in the context of regional economic hubs. Detailing the concept of a regional economic hub, and exploring the methodologies for determining which countries are hubs within their respective regions.

Governing Artificial Intelligence in Banking

AI is changing the face of the banking industry. How can banks meet the governance challenges and take advantage of this game-changing technology? To answer this crucial question, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Temenos have produced this new report, Overseeing AI: Governing Artificial Intelligence in Banking Key findings in the report include: 77% of banking…

How to Apply Machine Learning to Business Problems

This article, breaks down categories of business problems that are commonly handled by ML, and provides actionable advice to begin a ML initiative with the right approach and perspective.

Achieving Business Impact with Data

There has never been a better time to achieve impact with data. More and more data is available, computing power is ever increasing, and mathematical techniques and the so-called data science are getting more and more advanced. What’s more, “digital” and “data” have become the talk of the town. Yet while talking about data as…

Making Data Work for the Poor

With the rise of digital technologies, the use of personal data by private companies is growing rapidly. But how do we know they will use this data responsibly and in consumers’ best interests? In emerging and developing markets, the question is particularly acute because the predominant model rests upon obtaining consumer consent to use their…

Introduction to the Precision-Recall Plot

The precision-recall plot is a model-wide measure for evaluating binary classifiers and closely related to the ROC plot. This article covers the basic concept and several important aspects of the precision-recall plot.

Basic Evaluation Measures from the Confusion Matrix

This article introduces basic performance measures derived from the confusion matrix.

The Suptech Generations

Financial authorities’ use of technology has evolved over the years, leading to different generations of technology that culminate in what the paper by BIS, considers as suptech. Suptech refers to the application of big data or artificial intelligence (AI) to tools used by financial authorities. There are many ways of exploring suptech tools and these…

Technology Convergence: IOT, Data and AI: What happens when these forces converge

This podcast explores developments in the industry relating to the Internet of Things, data, AI and Machine Learning. It discusses what is fiction and what is possible and what we should be looking for in the future.

FinTech in Financial Inclusion: Machine Learning Applications in Assessing Credit Risk

Recent advances in digital technology and big data have allowed FinTech (financial technology) lending to emerge as a potentially promising solution to reduce the cost of credit and increase financial inclusion. However, machine learning (ML) methods that lie at the heart of FinTech credit have remained largely a black box for the nontechnical audience. This…

Keeping Machine Learning Honest! The Need for the Truthalizer

Machine learning (ML) provides institutions with predictive analytics that leverage large amounts of both historical and continually-generated data to obtain actionable insights. These insights, in turn, allow institutions to design and deploy interventions to increase revenue, lower costs, and compete in a dynamic marketplace by providing more customer-centric products and services. However, few understand or…

Did you see my tweet? Monitoring financial consumer protection via social media

Social media is changing customer service by shifting the ways in which consumers seek resolution of problems and the channels that firms make available to consumers. The ability for consumers to directly, instantly, and publicly praise or chastise the service of a firm has led to increased accountability and new ways to remotely resolve customer…

Accelerating Financial Inclusion with New Data

There are many internal and external challenges that providers must address for the promise of new data to be fully realized. From getting the right culture and technical talent in place to engaging with regulators and partners on data sharing and management, there are numerous obstacles to negotiate in capitalizing on the explosion of new…

Data Analytics and Digital Financial Service – Handbook

The Data Analytics and Digital Financial Services Handbook gives financial service providers an overview of the potential that data and data analytics present for financial inclusion in terms of improving efficiency of operations and effectiveness of product development and marketing, as well as increase outreach through innovative data-driven lending methods. The handbook is intended to…

Artificial Intelligence in Financial Services

Very few technologies have captured the popular imagination like Artificial Intelligence (AI). It has become a key feature in science fiction movies and news stories about technology. But beyond the hype, organisations are looking at how it can transform their businesses, drive efficiencies and help them to serve customers better. This report from UK Finance explores…

The potential of merchant data in improving credit access

Access to credit is a challenge that many MSMEs face. Often this is due to lack of data and financial records on the business. This case study produced by a DataHack4FI country winner in Zambia, explores the use of using data such as sales, expenses and investments to generate a credit score which could be…

Ethical use of Customer Data in a Digital Economy

The ethical use of data, and the extensive use of AI in day-to-day customer interactions have been an area of increased focus for politicians and regulators globally, as well as for news and media channels, over the last couple of years. New centres of research, such as the UK Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation,…

Delving into human consciousness: using psychometric assessments in financial services

Everyone has a unique and distinctive personality. Fortunately for low-income populations that may have been excluded from formal financial services, their character traits can now help them access financial products. A psychometric credit assessment provides an alternative for thin-file loan applicants (i.e., zero or low credit history) by generating credit scores based on personality and behavior. These assessments predict loan repayment behavior…

Ways to think about machine learning

An article on challanges when talking about machine learning and AI.

Artificial Intelligence: Practical Superpowers – The Case for AI in Financial Services in Africa

Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers big potential for gathering and using customer data and provide new or more appropriate financial services. Advances in AI and also the spread of the mobile phone means that there is a case for financial services providers to use this technology. This report looks at the potential benefits to businesses in…

Protecting Financial Consumer Data in Developing Countries: An Alternative to the Flawed Consent Model

This paper argues that the traditional “informed consent” model for consumer data protection has real weaknesses in effectively protecting the privacy of consumers in developing countries.

The Difference Between Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning

This article provides simple explanations of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and how they’re all different. Plus, how AI and IoT are inextricably connected.

Different types of Machine learning and their types

Article on the different types of machine learning.

My Curated List of AI and Machine Learning Resources from Around the Web

An article by Robbie Allen containing his list of useful AI and machine learning resources from around the web.

Unlocking the Promise of Big Data to Promote Financial Inclusion

Believing in data’s potential to provide both social and economic benefits, Accion set out to conduct research with the goal to develop a practitioner’s guide, building on the existing literature, to provide financial service providers (FSPs) with actionable insights and first steps on how to better leverage data for financial inclusion.Introducing data-driven innovations is a…

How Will Artificial Intelligence Affect Your Life | Jeff Dean | TEDxLA

In the last five years, significant advances were made in the fields of computer vision, speech recognition, and language understanding. In this talk, Jeff Dean discusses why and how these advances have come about, what the implications are for areas as diverse as robotics, healthcare, human creativity and computer hardware design, and why these possibilities…

Using Mobile Data for Development

Mobile devices generate a range of data about their users. Information about identity, location, social patterns, movement, finances and even ambient environmental conditions can be derived from the data logged in mobile systems. As this data is uniquely detailed and tractable, it can capture information not easily found from other sources at a scale that…

The Potential of Digital Data

This Focus Note from CGAP  asks how far emerging new sources of digital data can improve business model economics, reach more people, and enable greater customization. What can this trend contribute to advancing financial inclusion and financial service providers?

Unlocking Big Data Value

Using Big Data to get the right information to identify the right markets and customers at the right time enables institutions to make the right strategic decisions. This report from PWC looks at how to gather, analyse and use data for decision making.  

Big Data, Small Credit the Digital Revolution and Its Impact on Emerging Market Consumers

Though these are early days, there is enough to suggest that hundreds of millions of mass-market consumers may not have to remain “invisible” to formal, unsecured credit for much longer. Indeed, “Big Data, Small Credit” (BDSC) early adopters are already pointing the way, indicating both a nuanced understanding of their preferences and transactions and an…

Big Data: New Tricks for Econometrics

Nowadays computers are in the middle of most economic transactions. These “computer-mediated transactions” generate huge amounts of data, and new tools can be used to manipulate and analyze this data. This essay offers a brief introduction to some of these tools and methods.

Introduction to Machine Learning

Introduction video to Machine Learning.

Explaining Big Data

Big Data is the next big thing in computing. This video explains Big Data characteristics, technologies and opportunities.