/American Express sets up data analytics, risk & technology lab in IIT Madras

American Express sets up data analytics, risk & technology lab in IIT Madras

Kolkata: The American Express Data Analytics, Risk and Technology (DART) Laboratory was inaugurated at Indian Institute of Technology Madras on Thursday. The Lab aims to establish itself as a world-class hub of research in risk analytics and behavioral sciences by leveraging Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) and related technologies.

The lab would focus on risks that originate from human behavior and decisions. The overarching goal of the lab is to engineer technologies to best manage risk by developing a science-based understanding of humans’ strengths and weaknesses. It will also build talent for industry by partnering with academia.

The establishment of the lab has been undertaken through a grant by American Express to promote talent and diversity in Technology. American Express has also instituted annual scholarships for economically-disadvantaged and meritorious students, including ‘Ambition Awards’ for deserving women students at IIT Madras.

Speaking about the initiative, Manoj Adlakha, Senior Vice President and CEO, American Express Banking Corp., India, said in a release: “We are proud to partner with the country’s premier academic institution to invest in the future of cutting-edge data science and analytics research.”

Earlier this year, American Express commissioned a global survey in partnership with The New York Women’s Foundation to explore and understand the relationship of university-educated working women with ‘Ambition’. The survey found that Indian women’s commitment to achieving professional and personal ambitions ranked the highest – with 89 percent of university-educated women in India believing it is important to have ambitions, and 70 percent proud to call themselves “ambitious.”

The Lab at IIT Madras will explore a range of verticals with key emphasis on manufacturing, finance, healthcare, operations management and smart cities.

Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “The DART Lab will focus on bringing data analytics to bear on problems arising due to the interplay of human factors and inherent risk or uncertainty in the work environment due to unknown or partial information. The scholarships and awards will encourage our women students to excel in STEM and pursue enriching careers at the post-graduate level.”

The research at DART will develop technologies to measure the cognition and attention of the decision-makers and prevent potential accidents in high-risk industries. The same technologies can be applied across dimensions such as employee engagement and attention, evaluating and enhancing the quality of education and learning in school, especially in online classes as being administrated during the pandemic where teachers are unable to read the body language of students. The research will be publicly available to be used for government collaborations and education advancements.

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Tech-Economic Times