Latest Data

This white paper creates a framework for using synthetic data sets to assess the accuracy of interpretability techniques as applied to machine learning models in finance. The authors controlled actual feature importance using a synthetic data set and then compared the outputs of two popular interpretability techniques to determine which was better at identifying relevant features, finding variation in results.
This report examines broad implications of using AI in financial services. While recognizing the potentially significant benefits of AI for the financial system, the report argues that four types of challenges increase the importance of model transparency: data quality issues; model opacity; increased complexity in technology supply chains; and the scale of AI systems’ effects. The report suggests that model transparency has two distinct components: system transparency, where stakeholders have access to information about an AI system’s logic; and process transparency, where stakeholders have information about an AI system’s design, development, and deployment.
This publication considers common types of biases in AI systems that can lead to public distrust in applications across all sectors of the economy and proposes a three-stage framework for reducing such biases. The National Institute of Standards and Technology intentionally focuses on how AI systems are designed, developed, and used and the societal context in which these systems operate rather than specific solutions for bias. As a result, its framework proposes to enable users of AI systems to identify and mitigate bias more effectively through engagement across diverse disciplines and stakeholders, including those most directly affected by biased models. This proposal represents a step by NIST towards the development of standards for trustworthy and responsible AI. NIST is accepting comments on this framework until August 5, 2021.
This post examines consumers who remained in forbearance one year after the pandemic lockdowns started. The authors found that 13% of all mortgage borrowers were in forbearance for at least one month during the past year and that 35% of those participants were still in forbearance as of March 2021. More than 70% of consumers still in forbearance were not making any payments in March, suggesting that they are relatively vulnerable to serious delinquency as forbearance programs end.
This paper explores how model design choices can cause or exacerbate algorithmic biases, notwithstanding the common view that data predominantly cause bias problems in machine learning systems. The author cites two important factors that constrain our ability to curb bias solely through working on the quality or scope of training data: inherent messiness in real world data and limits on accurately anticipating features in a model that can cause bias. Model designers should therefore consider how their choices about the length of model training or the use of differential privacy techniques can affect model accuracy for groups underrepresented in the data.
This study finds that nearly 30% of total debt relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic was provided by the private sector, with the balance provided pursuant to government mandates focusing on mortgage and student loans. Households with lower incomes and lower creditworthiness were more likely to obtain forbearance relief, as were households who live in areas with higher Black or Hispanic populations, high infection rates, and more severe economic deterioration. The authors caution that the winding down of forbearance measures and subsequent structuring of debt repayments may have a significant impact on household debt distress and the aggregate economy given the amount of accumulated postponed repayments.
This source collects recent trends in short-term forbearances in the mortgage market but also notes areas in which additional data and consumer outreach are urgently needed. In particular, it highlights that about 530,000 homeowners who became delinquent after the pandemic did not take advantage of forbearance, despite being eligible to ask for relief under federal legislation. An additional 205,000 homeowners obtained an initial forbearance that expired in June or July, but did not seek to extended it and have since become delinquent.