Copy
Outlier Ventures Weekly Brief Issue #49 View Online
 
  contact@outlierventures.io
 


The world of fintech had a much-needed conversation this week. About the plausibility of algorithms having gender or race-based biases in the financial world. It came to light as entrepreneur David Heinmeier Hansson tweeted about his experience with a credit card released by Apple. Inspite of having the exact same financial profiles, a card issued by Apple in collaboration with Goldman Sachs offered him a credit limit that was 20 times above that of his wife’s. Given that the only difference between the two individuals was their gender, it could be argued that the algorithms were being lenient to one gender over the other. The facts behind it may never come to light as the proprietary algorithms banks use to determine these factors are never released. 

Given the siloed environments within which technology and finance converge, there is very little oversight on how it is designed. For instance, an algorithm that determines whether someone gets a much-needed credit line during a time of emergency may have very little vetting from third parties. Even the source of the data that goes into these systems has very little checks and balances. Imagine being at a hospital, hoping for a much-needed line of credit but having it denied because one of the data sources that feed to a hospital gave erroneous information on you. Or the possibility that a credit check on you ends up wrong because you were wrongly identified in a third-party vendor’s system. 

Much of what is broken with the web is likely to be replicated with “fintech” if due checks and balances are not kept in place. The scary bit about it is that unlike “logging out” of Facebook, one cannot entirely log out from the financial world. In a world where governments are rushing to go “digital” with their currency and make cashless societies, these algorithms determine the fates of human lives. One way blockchains fit in this conversation is with identity. Self-sovereign identity is already being massively integrated into the credit industry. Blockchains could be used to track the source of data and verify the entities responsible for algorithms that act upon them. Token-based instruments could also be used to incentivise individuals to share data while knowing who uses it. This would be different from existing data share networks that relay personal information without the individual’s consent or awareness. I need to research more about this, but if you are solving for these - make sure you apply for Base Camp!

In the end, everything ends up being fintech. Be it a search giant like Google, a rideshare app like Uber or a social media app like Snapchat. Eventually, it all converges around payments and lending. As the web evolves from advertising-driven models to one where value is captured at the transactional layer, it becomes ever more necessary for regulators and users to question the basis upon which our algorithms behave. Maybe, our algorithms need algorithms that check on their behaviour. Because at the end of the day, if the data-sets they are trained upon come with human biases then automating the process with an algorithm simply automates (or accelerates) the pace at which we pass unfair judgements. That is not really us building towards a better tomorrow with technology, is it?

Thinking about : Synthetic currency issuance
Reading : Hackers and Painters
Using : ENS Domains (register your .eth domain if you haven't already)

Have a wonderful weekend!
Joel John


 

From The Stack

  • Fetch.AI CEO Humayun Sheikh will be speaking at the Istanbul Binance meetup this wednesday - Link
     
  • Bruce Pon from Ocean Protocol published a blog post exploring how to tokenise and monetise data - Link
     
  • The entirety of the Cosmos and Agoric meetup at Berlin focused on blockchain interoperability is now up on youtube to watch! - Link
     
  • The monthly Cosmos newsletter is out with updates on key product releases from the Cosmos ecosystem  -  Link
     
  • Wish to learn about how Aragon's native token is used in network governance? Catch up n their latest token documentation released earlier this week - Link
     
  • Tor Bair from Enigma gave an in-depth conversation on building, retaining and inspiring a community as networks inch to launch.- Link
What The Team Is Reading
 
 
tw
 
tw
 
in
 
 
    Email a Friend  
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list
This email is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential information. No one else may place any reliance upon, copy or forward all or any form of this email in any way. If any addressing or transmission error has misdirected this email, please notify us immediately by responding to us directly, and ensure that the email and any attachments are immediately and permanently deleted and is not used, disclosed, copied, printed or relied upon in any manner. In no event shall Outlier Ventures Operations Ltd or Outlier Capital LLP be liable for any direct, consequential, incidental special, punitive or other damages, whatsoever (including without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, or loss of business information), even if Outlier Ventures Operations Ltd or Outlier Capital LLP have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Outlier Ventures Operations Ltd may monitor email traffic data and also the content of this email for the purposes of security.

Outlier Ventures Operations Ltd is registered in England and Wales, company registration number 10722638. Outlier Ventures Operations Ltd is an appointed representative of Sapia Partners LLP which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference Number 550103).

Crypto-currencies can be extremely volatile and subject to rapid fluctuations in price, positively or negatively. Investment in one or more crypto-currencies may not be suitable for even a relatively experienced and affluent investor. Each potential investor must make their own informed decision in connection with any such investment (after having sought independent financial advice thereon).

The content provided in this email is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as an offer or solicitation to enter into any proposed transaction or investment.

In this email you will find links to other websites; they are for your convenience or to provide additional information, they are not an endorsement or a financial promotion. Outlier Ventures Operations Ltd Is not responsible for any contents, data, opinions and or reliability of the linked websites, and does not necessarily endorse views expressed on the linked website, and does not accept liability for the accuracy or completeness of any such information or opinions which can be subject to change without notice.
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Outlier Ventures Operations Ltd · C/O Milsted Langdon LLP · 46-48 East Smithfield · London, Middlesex E1W1AW · United Kingdom