Meet Christian Weedbrook, CEO & Founder of Xanadu.ai.
Tell us a little about your organization and why you got into this space?
Xanadu is an advanced AI and quantum computing company, founded in 2016 and based in Toronto. With over 35 PhDs, and affiliations with MIT, Harvard and U of T, Xanadu is a world leader in quantum photonics and machine learning.
Throughout all of our products and engagements, trust is a core value. As a result, we have put extensive effort into building out tooling to ensure our models and algorithms are unbiased, fair and interpretable, while meeting the strictest of regulatory standards
We provide these tools to our partners as part of our trustworthy AI platform, Silver Hammer, to ease their burden of model validation and regulatory requirements, allowing them to bring AI products into production significantly faster and with far greater confidence.
Who are your clients and what types of regulatory challenges are they facing?
Xanadu partners with leading financial institutions such as Scotiabank and BMO. One massive challenge financial institutions (FIs) are currently facing is how to leverage AI solutions without running foul of regulations or eroding the trust they’ve worked so hard to develop with their customers. Ensuring AI models are interpretable, robust, unbiased and fit for purpose is a fundamentally different process than validating the types of models traditionally deployed by FIs, so we’ve created a product to dramatically reduce this burden.
Silver Hammer is an AI model validation toolkit, aligned with existing validation frameworks and comprising modules for assessing model transparency, fairness, stability and performance. We’ve carefully designed Silver Hammer to easily integrate into the workflows of all three lines of defense in compliance governance to drastically reduce a model’s time to production while ensuring increased trust in deployed AI solutions.
What type of emerging technology do you think will have the greatest impact on your business/industry?
Without a doubt, AI technologies are going to completely revolutionize and transform the financial industry. The winners and losers going forward will be separated by how they go about maintaining, and strengthening, the trust that their clients have placed in them.
Why did you join the CRTA? How do you think the CRTA will help your business/industry?
The CRTA is a fantastic facilitator helping to bring the specific technological challenges facing regulated entities to the attention of vendors like ourselves, while simultaneously helping us to educate prospective clients on the art of the possible in this space. The stakes are too high and the obstacles too large for financial institutions to face this challenge alone, so we’re glad the CRTA is around to help foster these collaborations.