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What to Ask AI Vendors When You Don’t Know Much About AI

Chances are, if you ask the average person what cryptocurrency is, they’re unlikely to give you a comprehensive answer. And that’s completely fine for a casual conversation! It becomes less acceptable when they attempt to persuade you to invest in their latest cryptocurrency. The same is true for the AI industry. After figuring out that AI can optimize your work, it’s up to you to vet the multitude of AI solutions that will come knocking. Separating the AI solution you need from a large swathe of similar programs becomes easier once you know which questions to ask. We’ve rounded up a few starter questions that will help determine if a vendor’s software will add value and is appropriate for your company.

In a recent series for Forbes, VP Brian Laing outlines important questions to ask AI solution vendors. Like any good question, these are designed to go beyond surface-level answers that any AI vendor can easily toss out. 

Question: What is the process of training your AI like, and who is validating its operations?

This question can reveal weaknesses in how the AI is designed, indicating whether the algorithms are well tested and refined. Of course, even if the AI is well made, knowing who validates its operations and if they have the technical background to do so provides another layer of protection. 

At Pairity we offer different levels of service and training. Depending on the level of service desired, agencies can receive comprehensive web training or have a dedicated data scientist that ultimately becomes an extension of their operation. AI is not a “set it and forget it” solution and in order to recognize the operational benefits (increased contacts, increased collections, reduced dials/agents…), the models need a dispositional feedback loop so they can continuously learn.   

In addition, we found a great resource in Lawtomated, a legaltech website that digs into other important questions you need to consider. While the website is focused on how technology can improve the legal space, these questions are applicable to any AI vendor. 

Question: Can the AI provide justification for its decisions, and are those decisions compliant with your field’s regulatory body?

Through this question you’ll learn whether a vendor’s AI is traditional or explainable. A traditional AI merely gives you a decision without any reasoning, while an explainable AI can pinpoint what data led its choices. After all, merely having an answer from an AI platform means very little if the thought process behind it is opaque. In addition, if these decisions aren’t compliant, you will end up responsible for the platform’s choices. 

Here at Pairity we strongly believe that every AI platform should be able to explain its conclusions, so we made sure to implement that value within our own system. Our AI shows how it reaches conclusions and actionable items by presenting the data used and how each data point was weighted in the decision-making process. In addition to this transparency, the Pairity AI ensures compliance by automatically generating records for every decision. It also constructs an associated graph for regulators to quickly discern how the justification was made. 

Question: Does the vendor understand your field and how their AI is applicable to your unique company?

AI is an amazing piece of technology, but that doesn’t mean that one set of algorithms can adequately address all business needs. This question shows whether the vendor has researched your field and how their AI fits into it, rather than offering a generic AI solution. 

Pairity was created out of a deep familiarity with the ARM industry. Our team has worked at industry-leading receivables management companies, spent decades designing CRM products, and led multiple collection teams. In addition, we chose to design an AI for the ARM industry not only because we know how to optimize it, but also because we know how to revolutionize it. Our AI addresses the needs of everyone involved in debt — from collectors and lenders to people in debt — and streamlines the process.

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