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Centre of Applied AI

Our mission statement

At Onfido our mission is to build an open world, where identity is the key to access. A world where anyone will be able to remotely verify their real identity with an identity document and their facial biometrics. Because the more people are able to remotely verify their real identity, the more accessible essential services become. We believe that artificial intelligence is one of humanity's most powerful tools to solve world issues around identity and access. The Center of Applied AI’s goal is to enact and develop best practices, and build high-performance artificial intelligence and machine learning powered systems. Systems that power mission critical applications, and operate in the real world.

    AI designed for reality

    When most people think of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ they likely think of something which is both perfect and independent. A supreme power, which eclipses the human brain in every way. But in actuality, we’re a far cry from developing this kind of ‘General AI’. 

    Instead, we've been able to create more specific AIs, thanks to advances in computer technology, the ever-increasing availability of data, and algorithmic advances. These systems still out-perform us, but only when applied to specific tasks. These ‘Applied AIs’ let us automate our identity verification services to a high degree of accuracy, operating faster than human experts alone ever could.

    Uncertainty Modeling in AI

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Ethical AI

If our mission is to make identity the key to access, then we must do that responsibly and ethically. That’s why Onfido adheres to a number of ethical practices when working with AI, to make sure it operates in an impartial and considered way.

    Mitigating algorithmic bias

    ‘Algorithmic bias’ describes systematic and repeatable errors in a computer system that create unfair outcomes, such as privileging one group of users over others. 

    Many things can trigger bias: from the design of the algorithm itself to unintended or unanticipated ways of using it, or even the decisions about how we use data to train the algorithm.

    We believe that algorithms need to operate globally and to the same standard for everyone. Algorithms trained exclusively on data featuring one ethnicity will operate better when users of that ethnicity use the platform. We are committed to eliminating bias from our system.

    Our data monitor helps us do this. When our systems encounter data they haven’t seen before, instead of making a bad decision, they flag it for human review. This means no application is disadvantaged, and our team can tune or retrain the models so it doesn’t happen again.


    Data thoughtfulness

    At Onfido we process two types of sensitive personal data - identity documents and biometrics. But it's important to us to treat that data with respect. We have codified the principles of how we handle data through our data thoughtfulness program. We continually reassess our practices to make them as responsible and secure as they can be. For example, we operate on a zero-trust policy, which gives the highest level of protection to data by treating every attempt to access it as an attack. We've also introduced self-service deletion and rolling deletion of individual records for our clients, available within their client dashboard.

    Data infrastructure

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Company Registration Number: 07479524.