Mitigating bias with machine learning

Disruption is now the norm, and credit unions are increasingly comfortable embracing it. So can artificial intelligence herald a new wave of unbiased lending?

For a cooperative movement committed to improving financial well-being for all, addressing the inequities faced by people of color, women, rural communities and more, is the new frontline.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have long been positioned as a solution. One organization partnering with credit unions to effectively leverage the technology is CUFinHealthTM sponsor, Zest AI.

“We now know financial well-being has as much to do with how someone feels about their finances as it does what they do with their money. So for credit unions to truly support their communities, they must shrug off the limited perspectives offered by FICO scores,” said Jay Budzik, Zest AI’s chief technology officer.

“Increasingly we’re seeing credit unions use AI and ML to analyze significantly more data for loan underwriting, so they can say ‘yes’ to more members. All while reducing risk and providing greater access to previously underserved groups.”


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