Onfido Wins "Best Innovation in Algorithmic Bias Mitigation" & "Outstanding Leader in Accessibility" at CogX 2020

Inclusivity and accessibility are deeply rooted in Onfido’s culture. Our passion in this area is reflected in our company goals of inclusion and open access. We’re honoured to have been recognised by the industry, in the CogX Awards for “Best Innovation in Algorithmic Bias Mitigation” and “Outstanding Leader in Accessibility”. This news comes in the wake of being Highly Commended in the SC Europe Awards 2020 for “Best Use of Machine Learning”.

Access is at the heart of everything we do. As organisations and services move online, prioritising inclusion and accessibility is a matter of principle for us to ensure groups of people are not left behind. Our fundamental purpose is in support of giving people access, so it’s imperative that our products and services provide inclusivity and accessibility to everyone. 

Earlier this year, Onfido published an Accessibility Whitepaper summarising the new features we added to the SDK to make the product more accessible, and what we learned from our accessibility journey so far. During usability testing, we used Cambridge Simulation Glasses to simulate sight loss, and other techniques to simulate mobility challenges such as arthritis to better understand how the interface can be optimised. We also worked with the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC) and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to audit and test the more accessible SDK. We shared our experience in two blogs “Why businesses should make accessibility a priority” and “Building a culture of accessibility”.

Simultaneously, we’re participating in the UK's first Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) data protection and privacy sandbox to systematically measure and mitigate algorithmic bias in machine learning models. In particular, we’re focusing on racial and other data related bias effects for remote biometric-based identity verification. The ICO recently gave a six month update on this research.

Our latest face matching False Acceptance Rate is now 0.01%, at a False Rejection Rate of 1%. This corresponds to a likelihood of 1 in 10,000 of incorrectly matching two faces that don’t belong to the same person. It’s the highest ever reported accuracy for algorithms comparing faces on identity documents vs selfies or videos. And more importantly, the delta in performance between ethnicity groups is as small as it’s ever been. These figures represent an overall 10x improvement from our previous algorithm version, and a 60x false acceptance improvement for faces of African descent. 

Our goal is to continue building on what we've learned as we move forward with our work on accessibility and inclusivity. When creating technologies, we must ensure that they operate fairly for all individuals and ensure that privacy is upheld. Our mission is to create an open world, where identity is the key to access for everyone, regardless of race, age, disability, gender or other characteristics. 

From Financial Services and Telecoms to Climate Change and Fashion, CogX Awards celebrate the best-of-the-best in AI and emerging technologies and we’re pleased to receive the accolades. The awards were presented at CogX, a world-leading AI festival with over 15,000 people in attendance from the highest levels of business, government, industry and research. Husayn Kassai, CEO and co-founder of Onfido gave a keynote [9:06:33 time mark] and participated in three panels on the future of health identity [4:49:44 time mark], privacy-preserving mechanisms [9:23:58], and financial fraud and security [4:45:30 time mark]. 

If you’d like to see our award-winning product in action, sign up for a live demo.

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