USC and Capital One Establish New Center for Responsible AI in Finance – USC Viterbi | School of Engineering – USC Viterbi School of Engineering

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Housed under the USC School of Advanced Computing, the center aims to advance responsible AI for financial services
The USC-Capital One Center for Responsible AI and Decision Making in Finance (CREDIF) is the first center launched under the auspices of the USC School of Advanced Computing (SAC), a unit of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
USC and Capital One announced today the USC-Capital One Center for Responsible AI and Decision Making in Finance (CREDIF). Supported by a $3-million gift from Capital One, the joint research center will focus on advancing foundations for algorithmic, data and software innovations for artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications to finance.
Combining USC’s world-class research with Capital One’s domain expertise, it is the first center launched under the auspices of the USC School of Advanced Computing (SAC), a unit of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
A cornerstone of USC President Carol Folt’s Frontiers of Computing “moonshot,” the SAC serves as a nexus for advanced computing research and education across the university. The center will stand as its inaugural beacon, said Gaurav Sukhatme, director of the SAC and executive vice dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
Professor Petros Ioannou will lead the new center.
“This new center is emblematic of the fast-moving and far-reaching impact of computing today,” said Sukhatme, a professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering. “Responsible, human-centered decision making—a cornerstone of the USC School of Advanced Computing—is at its very heart.”
Home to some of the world’s leading minds in advanced computing, the center will explore how emerging technologies in AI and analytics can be applied to financial systems and services at scale, advancing cross-disciplinary knowledge between finance and technology.
Prem Natarajan, chief scientist and head of enterprise AI at Capital One, who spearheaded the idea for the center with Sukhatme, said the new center will help Capital One leverage the immense resources within the SAC to address complex challenges and opportunities in the financial sector.
“At Capital One, we believe multidisciplinary partnerships and initiatives like CREDIF can advance the state of the art in AI while also ensuring diverse perspectives and equities when developing, testing, and deploying AI capabilities,” said Natarajan. “USC’s leading-edge faculty, students, and research resources in combination with Capital One’s mission-driven focus and world-class industry talent create a unique opportunity to leverage AI to solve some of the most challenging problems in financial services and provide differentiated value to millions of customers.”
Amongst its goals, the center will support research projects focused on the development of cutting-edge technology and approaches to improve business and finance innovation. Each year, USC faculty members will be invited to submit proposals for faculty-led research efforts. An annual fellowship for doctoral students, named Capital One Fellows, will equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in the field of AI in finance. In addition, USC and Capital One will also host annual joint research symposium and workshops to share insights with the wider community.
“USC’s leading-edge faculty, students, and research resources in combination with Capital One’s mission-driven focus and world-class industry talent create a unique opportunity.” Prem Natarajan.
“We are thrilled to partner with Capital One to advance responsible AI and decision making in finance,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering. “Our talented USC Viterbi students and faculty will use their outstanding technical computational competence to provide human-and societal- centric financial decision making. Such strong partnerships allow the development of extraordinary new solutions to real-world problems that help advance innovation, productivity and the pursuit of human flourishing.”
Petros Ioannou, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, aerospace and mechanical engineering, and industrial and systems engineering, will serve as the center’s inaugural director.
Ioannou, the director of the Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, holds the A.V. ‘Bal’ Balakrishnan Chair in Engineering and was recently appointed as a University Professor, USC’s highest academic honor. In 2008, Ioannou developed USC’s Master’s of Science in Financial Engineering program in collaboration with the Marshall School of Business, one of Viterbi’s most successful master’s programs.
“I am delighted to be part of this important research center, where cutting-edge computing and AI techniques will be applied to solving complex financial problems,” said Ioannou. “My priority is to motivate and attract researchers and PhD students and strengthen our capabilities in financial engineering. The potential for solving complex financial problems using computational techniques and AI is enormous.” 
A member of the USC faculty community since 1982, Ioannou is a leading authority in control systems neural networks, nonlinear systems, and intelligent transportation systems. He was recently inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and made a Fellow of the European Academy of Science. He is also a member of the Academia Europaea and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has published 9 books, more than 170 journal articles and book chapters, nearly 250 conference papers, and holds 3 patents.
“With his rich history of contributions to the applications of engineering to many disciplines including networks and transportation, and his experience establishing and directing the successful master’s program in financial engineering, Professor Ioannou is well-positioned to serve as the inaugural director of this multidisciplinary center,” said Sukhatme.
Published on April 11th, 2024
Last updated on April 11th, 2024
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