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April 19, 2021


0.75 hours CLE credit
April 19, 2021

Making Machine Learning Fair: Considerations for Fair Lending Compliance and the Use of Algorithms

Nicholas Schmidt

Nicholas Schmidt, the CEO of SolasAI, will begin with a broad overview of key concepts in machine learning and artificial intelligence, focusing on how they are being used in consumer finance and the implications for compliance with fair lending laws.  Nick will then discuss how recent academic work on fairness in AI relates to established practices for compliance, particularly with regards to discrimination in lending and the generation of adverse action notices.  He will also outline best practices and pitfalls in the development, deployment, and evaluation of in-house and third-party models.  Finally, Nick will outline the areas where he has seen regulators focus their attention recently and what that means for financial institutions under the current administration.




Nicholas Schmidt has more than twenty years of experience helping attorneys understand how to apply statistics to questions of discrimination in lending, employment, and other areas.  Currently, Nick is the CEO of SolasAI and the AI Practice Leader at BLDS, LLC.  At SolasAI, Nick leads the innovation of a fair lending compliance focused AI software platform.  The software employs cutting-edge machine learning techniques to help clients understand whether their algorithms or the data used may be causing disparate impact or bias, and it then provides the business with alternative model specifications that decrease regulatory, legal, and reputational risk of discrimination.


During his time at BLDS, Nick has provided expert guidance to companies and regulators in the application of economics and statistics to questions of law and regulation.  He also assists clients in developing and implementing robust model governance practices that allows companies to continue to innovate and rapidly grow their business safely. Many of the country’s most prominent consumer lenders, FinTechs, as well as life and health insurers use Nick’s work to achieve fairer outcomes for their customers while maintaining their competitive edge.


Nick holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in econometrics, statistics, and finance. He writes and speaks frequently on the benefits and risks of artificial intelligence, Explainable AI and how to make fairer machine learning algorithms.  Nick actively participates as a member of several industry working groups that focus on AI model governance. This includes board membership at the Foundation for Best Practices in Machine Learning, which provides an open-source, community-driven platform for practitioners to establish ethical and responsible machine learning governance.


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MUFG Union Bank – Consumer Lending Bank Operations Associate General Counsel Managing Director – #10021572-WD

MUFG Americas Legal Department has posted a position for a Consumer Lending Bank Operations Associate General Counsel Managing Director to be located in Los Angeles or San Francisco. The link to the posting https://careers.mufgamericas.com/job-consumer-lending-bank-operations-associate-general-counsel-managing-director-10021572-wd ; the requisition number is 10021572-WD. Interested candidates can apply for the position through this link or searching for the position by entering the requisition number at the Careers link at www.unionbank.com

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