FICO CAO Scott Zoldi: Explainable AI is the Future of Analytics

Scott Zoldi, Chief Analytics Officer at FICO, argues that enterprises must ensure AI algorithms work in explainable ways when they are making decisions about customers

Scott Zoldi, CAO at analytics company FICO, outlined the things companies should consider when using AI to understand customer behavior at Corinium’s 2018 Chief Analytics Officers Spring conference.

“One of the things that we’re focused on is really around having a profile of each of the customers, so we can make better decisions,” he said. “So, we are trying to understand behavior, ultimately.”

He told Jeff Frick, Host of tech interview show theCUBE, that these projects should start with identifying what data is needed. Analytics leaders can then consider how to gather this data and make it available for use.

“[The next stage is], what are the analytics that we want to apply?” he continued. “Then, comes the people part. What’s the process to work with that score [or] record the use of, let’s say, an analytic?”

Why Explainable AI is the Future of Analytics

Much of the talk around AI in business revolves around how enterprises can use the technology to transform their businesses. But Zoldi argued that businesses must ensure that the algorithms they use to improve their processes are fair and transparent.

“The challenge is, all these algorithms are much more intelligent than a human being,” he said. “They’re superhuman. But generally, [it’s] very difficult to understand how they make a decision or how they come up with a score.”

“Explainable AI is around deconstructing and analyzing [models] to provide examples and reasons for why the model scored the way that it did,” he added. “That’s actually paramount, because today we need to provide explanations as a part of regulatory concerns around the use of these models.”

He concluded that explainable AI will play a central role in the future of analytics. Customers have a right to understand how AI systems arrive at decisions that affect them. This will ensure they have the opportunity to change their behaviors to get the outcomes they want going forward.