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The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 10, 2017 • Issue 17:04:01

Fraud and plaque prevention: Both powered by AI

By Don Bush

There is no question that artificial intelligence (AI) is the darling of 2017 technology predictions hype. Think big data and how people reacted to its entry a few years ago. From an "AI toothbrush," unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, to human-crushing poker strategies to automated dermatology, AI is getting significant attention. Don't believe me? A simple Google search will churn out more than 2 billion results in less than one second. Receiving much less attention, however, are the very real technologies implementing AI in a constructive way.

With any emerging technology there will be companies attaching themselves to the buzzword itself, rather than pioneering the respective technology. The truth is, "powered by AI" can be attached to almost any technology ‒ without much substance behind the claim. This may seem harmless enough, but it's almost certainly misleading the public.

My stance is that "real intelligence" is key when it comes to AI. What's real intelligence? you may ask. It's the piece of the puzzle that popular articles that discuss smart refrigerators and offer satirical predictions about robots taking over leave out.

For AI to function for fraud mitigation and prevention, a few things must be in place.

  • Really cool technology ‒ yeah, we said it: Patented and proprietary technologies are key in the implementation of AI. Examples would be patented intellectual property that includes user authentication, device fingerprinting and proxy piercing tools, among others. Technologies to look out for include system identification, data collection, credential verification, payment fraud control and risk analysis ‒ all in the same tool ‒ to best provide merchants with a complete fraud prevention and management system so they don't have to rely on piecemeal technologies.
  • Data, data and more data: Data is the magic ingredient behind AI. Accessing anonymized data received from billions of transactions around the world creates a "network effect," which is basically a pool of knowledge from which to draw conclusions. It should be noted that not just any data can be used for this. What goes in also comes out. Companies that partner with other businesses to receive a larger amount of data points help provide greater value and accuracy.

  • The science fiction part ‒ advanced AI machine learning technology: Data on billions of transactions in real-time? Yeah, there is no way human effort is going to cull through that. Even looking at every piece of art in The Louvre would take us mere mortals 100 days. This is why we need advanced AI learning technology ‒ to make real-time adjustments to analyze risk across this entire, vast network. If the data is the information, AI is how to make use of that information. Here is a simple analogy: you have a test coming up, the answers are included within your history textbook, but to make any use of these answers your brain must read and process the pages.
  • Humans: AI plays a crucial role; however, real expertise is needed to complete the puzzle. Machine learning technology and AI can pull out anomalies and identify patterns from the vast swaths of real-time data, but human intelligence is still needed to make full use of this information and work with customers. Think about it this way: you might be able to fix an issue with the cable company exclusively using an automated menu, but wouldn't you prefer to speak with an actual person? Me too.

There you have it. We, at Kount, believe fraud mitigation via AI and machine learning is exponentially more exciting than a toothbrush moonlighting as a robot. The Green Sheet, Inc.

Don Bush joined Kount as Director of Marketing in October 2010 and became Vice President of Marketing in December 2012. Previously, he was Director of Marketing at CradlePoint, a leading manufacturer of wireless routing solutions in the mobile broadband industry. Don has worked in several management roles within the technology segment for over 20 years with both hardware and software manufacturers, and as a partner in two top technology marketing agencies. He has led products launches and marketing programs for dozens of companies around the world such as Citi, HP, IBM, Kodak, Motorola and Weyerhaeuser, and he co-authored the seminar series, "Common Launch Disasters and How to Avoid Them." Contact him at don.bush@kount.com.

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