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Fairness Algorithm From FairPlay Detects Borrower Disparities

Katie Jensen
Nov 15, 2021

Today, decisions like who gets a loan, a job interview, or a kidney transplant are increasingly made by algorithms, but many of them are replicating the same discriminatory patterns.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • FairPlay is an artificial intelligence (AI) Fairness solution that uses algorithms to make high stake decisions about people’s lives.
  • FairPlay provides tools to make it simple for anyone to embed fairness considerations into their algorithms with tools that are fast, affordable and easy to use.

FairPlay, the world’s first “fairness-as-service” solution for algorithmic decision-making, today announced their achievement in raising $4.5 million in seed investment funding. This round of funding was primarily led by Third Prime Capital, with participation from FinVC, TTV, Financial Venture Studio, Amara, and Nevcaut Ventures.

FairPlay is an artificial intelligence (AI) Fairness solution that uses algorithms to make high stake decisions about people’s lives. Today, big decisions like who gets a loan, a job interview, or a kidney transplant are increasingly made by algorithms, but many of them are replicating the same discriminatory patterns.

FairPlay provides tools to make it simple for “anyone to embed fairness considerations into their algorithms,” their report states, with tools that are fast, affordable and easy to use. The software asks five key questions for customers to evaluate fairness:

  1. Is my algorithm biased? 
  2. If so, why? 
  3. Could it be fairer? 
  4. What is the economic impact of being fairer? 
  5. Did we give our declines a Second Look to see if they resemble good applicants on dimensions we haven't heavily considered?

“Just as we built search infrastructure and payments infrastructure for the Internet, so must we build fairness infrastructure for the Internet,” said FairPlay founder and CEO Kareem Saleh. “FairPlay turns fairness into a business advantage, allowing our users to de-bias digital decisions in real-time and prove to their customers, regulators and the public that they're taking strong steps to be fair. In short, FairPlay makes fairness pay.”

FairPlay utilizes two APIs — the first provides Fairness Analysis, analyzing lending model input, output, and outcomes to identify disparities within particular groups. The second API is called Second Look and it can re-underwrite declined loan applications with “AI fairness techniques” designed to better assess borrowers from underserved groups. 

"As a lender, financial inclusion is deeply important to us," says Rory Birmingham, chief compliance officer at Figure Technologies. "We started using FairPlay and it's been an incredible resource. The FairPlay product is intuitive, easy to use and hugely beneficial for lenders like us who aim to be best-in-class on fairness and inclusion."

The AI Fairness techniques determine whether declined borrowers resemble “good” borrowers in ways the primary algorithm does not consider. The result is that more applicants of color, women, and other disadvantaged groups are approved.

FairPlay is also announcing the launch of its Mortgage Fairness Monitor, which is a detailed data-driven map that evaluates how fair the mortgage market is to Black Americans, women and Hispanic Americans based on a review of 20 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. FairPlay also plans on releasing a ranking of the 20 American cities based on the fairness level of their mortgage markets.

Results from the Mortgage Fairness Monitor:

  • Top 5 U.S. cities that were fairest for Black homebuyers (ranked from most fair to least fair): Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; Las Vegas, NV; San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ.
  • Top 5 U.S. cities that were the least fair for Black homebuyers (ranked from most unfair to least unfair): Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; Miami, FL; Atlanta, GA.
  • Top 5 U.S. cities that were the fairest for female homebuyers: Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Las Vegas, NV; San Diego, CA; Portland, OR.
  • Top 5 U.S. cities that were the fairest for Hispanic homebuyers: Miami, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; San Diego, CA; Las Vegas, NV.
  • Top 5 U.S. cities that were the fairest for Millennial homebuyers: New York, NY; Miami, FL; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Tampa, FL.
  • Top 5 U.S. cities that were the fairest for Baby Boomer homebuyers: Phoenix, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Charlotte, NC; Minneapolis, MN; San Diego, CA.

 

Published
Nov 15, 2021
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