Pega Helps Businesses Mitigate Risk With AI Transparency Controls


Within the  latest release of its Pega® Customer Decision Hub, Pegasystems has announced the ability for customers to deploy AI algorithms based on transparency thresholds. Called the T-Switch, the software is aimed at helping companies mitigate potential risks and maintain regulatory compliance while providing differentiated experiences to their customers.

Not all  AI models are built with the levels of transparency needed to fully explain how the AI made its decision. This is an issue in highly regulated industries. While some opaque AI algorithms may drive powerful performance, the complex logic behind these ‘black boxes’ needs the ability to be fully explained, especially when the model causes unintended actions.

Further raising the stakes, in May the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates that businesses must be able to explain the logic behind AI models using European customer data to make decisions. Fines will be assessed at up to four percent of global revenues for non-compliance.

As part of the AI-powered Pega Customer Decision Hub, the T-Switch will allow organizations to set the appropriate thresholds for AI transparency or opaqueness. Businesses will be able to predefine these levels for each AI model using a simple sliding scale from one (most opaque) to five (most transparent). The transparency scores will help guide business users to build AI systems using the right models that meet their organization’s transparency requirements while still delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Business users will be able to control the transparency of their AI based on the models they choose to deploy to drive a desired outcome. For example, it is relatively low risk to use an opaque model for image recognition that helps flag older content assets still using outdated branding. Conversely, for financial institutions under strict regulations for the kinds of loans they offer customers, marketers may require highly transparent AI models to ensure they can demonstrate the resulting product offers are appropriate for the financial needs for each individual.

Pega Customer Decision Hub users will access the T-Switch and all other Pega AI tools in a newly centralized Business Control Center for AI. This allows users to create, import, adjust, and monitor their AI models to drive better business outcomes in a single dashboard. This includes models built using:

  • Pega Predictive Analytics Director, to rapidly develop models that accurately predict customer behaviors;
  • Pega Adaptive Decision Manager, to automatically adjust models on the fly based on customer actions;
  • Pega Text Analytics for text classification, sentiment analysis, and intent detection;
  • Any third-party AI models available via PMML

Pega Customer Decision Hub works in tandem with Pega’s suite of CRM applications for marketing, sales, and customer service to anticipate customer needs and provide highly contextual brand experiences for each individual customer.

The T-Swich capabilities will be available by the end of October with the release of the newest version of the  Pega Customer Decision Hub.

“With increasing amounts of regulations, nearly any global organization needs to ensure its AI systems provide the appropriate levels of transparency that allow businesses to explain how they use customer data,” said Dr. Rob Walker, vice president, decision management, Pegasystems, in a press release. “The T-Switch, built into the AI-powered Pega Customer Decision Hub, ensures organizations maintain compliance while leveraging the power of AI to provide exceptional experiences that increases customer satisfaction and the bottom line.”

Pegasystems is primarily focused on supporting marketing and salespeople as customers. “As we bring more and more of this data science and machine learning technology into how we interact with customers, there needs to be an understanding of the risks and ramifications of AI,” said Don Shuerman, CTO and VP of product marketing at Pegasystems, i an interview with AI Trends.  “The T or transparency switch, as organizations move beyond the hype of AI into actually engaging customers in the real world, will be an important part of the strategy.”

He added, “We want organizations to have clear business level control of their risk tolerance vs. value tolerance. The underlying engine can figure out the algorithms that stay inside the company’s risk tolerance.”

Companies might want to be able to in effect audit the sales trail. “We use AI to recommend actions to salespeople,: Shuerman said. “If you give the sales guy a way to see why you made that recommendation, they eventually will trust the engine. Transparency is important to gain the trust.”

Pegasystem sells either a cloud-based subscription service, or can install its software on-premise. “Many of our customers start doing things in the cloud to move fast, then many move on-premise because they want to have the “brain” closer to the core systems,” Shuerman said.

Looking forward, Shuerman said Pegasystems is researching systems that allow the customer to plug goals into the systems, which then generates the rules need to accomplish the goals. Also, research is going on into conversational chatbots, virtual assistants and natural language processing. This is outside the robotic automation side of the business, built on the 2016  acquisition of OpenSpan, a robotic process automation software supplier.

Learn more about Pegasystems.