Reflections 2022: The Power of Patents and the People Behind Them

In 2022, FICO was granted 11 new U.S. software patents

As 2022 draws to a close I am reflecting on what has been a very challenging year for the world at large. I am more grateful than ever for things that are easy to take for granted: health, family, a roof over my head, electricity and water, and food on the table. However, in terms of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics, 2022 has been a great year for FICO, my data science team, and AI innovation in general. Here are a few of the year’s highlights I’m reflecting on.

The Power of Patents

I am very glad that my role at FICO centers on AI and analytic innovation, and incorporating it into the wide range of solutions our customers use to fight fraud, scams and other financial crimes. Perhaps the most visible focal point of that innovation is software patents; we recently announced that FICO was granted 11 U.S. patents, and I’m proud to be an inventor or co-inventor on many of them. With these awards my personal patent count rose to more than 120 patents authored, with 76 granted and 47 pending. Some of the patents granted this year that are most meaningful to me include:

  • “Visualization for Payment Card Transaction Fraud Analysis,” which relates to a computer-implemented method and system for visualizing payment card transactional fraud analysis. The visualization techniques of this patent enable domain-specific interfaces that can help fraud analysts make better decisions quickly and easily. This technology is incorporated into FICO® Falcon® Fraud Manager.
  • “False Positive Reduction in Abnormality Detection System Models,” which covers technology for reducing the false-positive rate for transactions occurring at the same merchant and/or location where a consumer has transacted previously. This is an important part of FICO® Falcon® Platform-based cloud enhanced analytics and improvements to in-stream analytics.
  • “Temporal Explanations of Machine Learning Model Outcomes,” which describes a system and method for identifying and isolating relevant past transactions that led to an ultimate decision in an AI transactional analytics system, providing meaningful explanations based on specific transactions. This patented technology can provide insight in investigating payment card fraud, detecting cyber security threats, credit risk, and identifying money laundering activities.  
  • “Method and Apparatus for Analyzing Coverage, Bias, and Model Explanations in Large Dimensional Modeling Data,” which relates to exposing weak data coverage and potential biases within a modeling dataset, particularly large multi-dimensional datasets. This is relevant to enabling Humble AI and Responsible AI strategies, and has been used in FICO® Falcon® Fraud Manager and various credit risk models.
  • "Advanced Learning System for Detection and Prevention of Money Laundering,” which relates to detecting risky entity behavior using an efficient frequent behavior-sorted list, and then generating threat scores that may be applied within the context of anti-money laundering (AML) and retail banking fraud detection systems. This technology is used extensively in the FICO® Falcon® Platform for money laundering detection.
  • “High Resolution Transaction-level Fraud Detection for Payment Cards in a Potential State of Fraud,” which covers a system and method to distinguish fraudulent transactions from legitimate transactions, when the payment card used is in a state of fraud, using a specialized algorithm referred to as a pinpoint model. This innovation is important to FICO’s customer communications offerings and adaptive analytic initiatives in FICO® Falcon® Fraud Manager.

Industry Recognition for AI and Analytic Innovation

These explanations hint at the real power of patents: how they are focused on our customers’ most pressing industry challenges, and make FICO solutions even more effective tools for their business. FICO was recently recognized for the way we incorporate technology innovation into our solutions, receiving a first-ever Top 5 Ranking in the prestigious Chartis RiskTech100 Annual report. FICO placed first in six categories including Artificial Intelligence Applications, Financial Crime – Enterprise Fraud and Retail Credit Analytics and Innovation – AI and Decision Management Platform, and we placed first in Innovation for the sixth year in a row!

Just a couple of weeks ago it was also gratifying to see our Scam Detection Score win the Machine Learning Award at the Credit and Technology Awards in the UK. With billions of dollars lost globally to authorized payment fraud (APP) fraud, I am proud to be making a difference by helping banks better protect people from this devastating fraud type.

The People Who Inspire Me

2022 marked the comeback of in-person events, in a big way! FICO World returned in May in Orlando, Florida, convening customers from around the world for four jam-packed days of learning, sharing ideas, and celebrating the ability to get together again. As always, my days at FICO World 22 were filled with productive one-on-one meetings with customers, and informal conversations in every remaining nook and cranny of the day. Of course FICO World included fantastic evening events with clients and colleagues at Universal Studios and Hard Rock Café! A little later in the year I also had the privilege of meeting with even more FICO customers at in-person events in Latin America and EMEA, a real treat post-pandemic.

There was time in 2022 to reconnect in-person with my data science team and the larger FICO family. The Software Leadership team brought together employees at our major offices, where I met and reunited with so many of FICO’s enthusiastic employees. We ended the world tour basking in the incredible team spirit on bold display at FICO Bangalore.

Finally, in 2022 I was able to resume my lecture work with universities, meeting with students and faculty at MIT (twice!), Duke and UC San Diego. It was a pleasure to talk about Responsible AI with the next generation of data scientists and business leaders, hearing their perspectives and sharing mine. A lecture to fellow physicists at the American Physical Society in New York City was the cherry on top of a fantastic “people” year; all of these human touchpoints inspire me to keep listening, learning, innovating and sharing ideas.

Celebrating the Season with Gratitude

Lastly, in October I was honored to receive a “Future Thinking” Award at Corinium Global’s Business of Data gala, which brought together an incredible group of colleagues from across industries. Although I am most at home in the data science lab, it was a rush to stand with fellow honorees in the limelight at this very fun event.

Since you’re reading this blog, I want to let you know I’m thankful for your support. Follow me on the FICO blog, LinkedIn and Twitter, and I’ll see you in the New Year. Happy Holidays!

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