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Unveiling the Ally Innovation Challenge – Responsible AI: Seeking Established Innovators to Drive Positive Impact

The financial industry thrives on trust. Yet, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) presents a double-edged sword. While it holds immense potential to personalize experiences, streamline processes, and improve risk management, the technology can also perpetuate biases and exacerbate existing inequalities. Ally, along with broader financial community, realize we’re at the ground floor of this technology. Therefore, we’re launching the Ally Innovation Challenge – Responsible AI, to partner with startups to explore the unknowns and discover innovative approaches that result in positive and supportive experiences leveraging AI. 

Here at Ally, we recognize that responsible AI isn’t just technical challenges; our corporate culture encourages us to consider these as policy and societal questions with real-world consequences in our communities. For example, recently, developers from Ally contributed to LangChain’s open-source community to start leading the way in addressing these issues via technology, by creating a solution to scrub personally identifiable information (PII) before data is shared with any AI application and stored in a safe place. 

We understand that we are a part of a quickly evolving ecosystem and are continuously exploring all the possible ways AI could support our customers and communities. Therefore, we actively engage across the landscape and met with hundreds of startups. In many cases, our engagements include a hands-on component via our technology incubation lab (Tech Labs).

However, given the rapid pace of AI development and its potential to expand the digital divide, we’re expanding our focus on where and how AI can be used for positive change. Our efforts to learn demand a more focused approach and we’re, therefore, taking a huge step forward at how we look externally. Building on the success we’ve had in open source, and with the support of our Tech Labs, we're launching a public open innovation challenge specifically targeting established startups in the AI infrastructure space, aptly named the Ally Responsible AI Innovation Challenge. 

Apply Now!

AI infrastructure innovators with proven traction, this is for you. This spring, we’re selecting a small number of startups to apply to be selected for an 8-week co-learning experience designed to bridge the gap between established players, like Ally, and cutting-edge startups.  

This is a no-equity and no-investment program, all about mutual learning and shaping the future of finance. To ensure a neutral and well-rounded evaluation process, we've partnered with an inclusive set of Venture Capital firms. Their expertise and experience, spanning various backgrounds, will provide valuable insights beyond our traditional banking perspective.  

We're seeking:  

  • Early to growth stage companies with diverse skills and backgrounds   

  • A strong track record in AI development to collaborate with our top technical minds, and industry partners 

We'll work together to explore the potential of your AI concepts, and while we aren’t able to predict if any of the selected startups will have a commercial outcome with Ally, each company selected will be evaluated for potential implementation and proof of concept (POC) opportunities.

Seeking Solutions, Not Just Technology 

We’re not just looking for the next cool model, or idea-staged startups. We encourage submissions from startups that are in market with solutions across disciplines that can help us solve problems including, but not limited to, the following: 

  • Bias detection: Novel techniques to detect bias in AI models, including social bias, fairness across identity groups, and unintended consequences. Tools and frameworks to continuously monitor AI models for bias drift. 

  • Governance: Frameworks for governing the use of AI in the financial sector, including ethical considerations, risk management, and regulatory compliance as well as mechanisms for stakeholder engagement in the development and deployment of AI-powered financial tools.  

  • Human-AI Collaboration: Can we explore the benefits of a "co-pilot" approach, where human expertise and AI decision-making work in tandem to ensure fairness and accountability?  

  • AI supply chain: What are some methods to identify and mitigate bias within the AI supply chain, including data sources, algorithms, and training practices and strategies to promote transparency and accountability throughout the AI development process. 

  • Policy Integration: How can we seamlessly leverage AI solutions to help evaluate   existing and evolving regulatory frameworks surrounding financial technology? 

  • LLM security: Methods to prevent security vulnerabilities in Large Language Models (LLMs) such as manipulation, poisoning, and misuse. 

Meaningful Outcomes, Measured Impact 

By learning more from these proven innovators, Ally can leverage our cutting-edge expertise to: 

  • Fast-track the integration of impactful AI solutions: Established startups bring a wealth of experience in navigating the complexities of AI implementation and can help us understand how we can carefully integrate solutions that deliver real value. 

  • Fuel a culture of cutting-edge AI adoption: Collaborating with established AI leaders inspires our internal teams, fostering a culture of continuous learning and pushing the boundaries of what's possible. 

  • Accelerate Time to Value by Exposure to Proven Approaches: Exploring partnerships with established AI startups could allow us to leverage solutions that have been through a process of development and user feedback with an array of partners. 

This focus on real-world applications ensures they align with market needs, ultimately reducing the time it takes for us to implement impactful and responsible AI solutions.

The potential of AI to revolutionize finance is undeniable. But true change lies in wielding this power responsibly. Through the Ally Innovation Challenge – Responsible AI, we aim to do our part to foster a collaborative environment where banks and startups can work together to build an AI-driven financial system that benefits everyone. As Ally embarks on its first open innovation challenge (even at 105!), we expect some learning experiences, but the potential for breakthroughs is thrilling. 

Are you ready to join us in tackling this critical challenge? Please visit our website at to learn more! All posted terms and conditions apply.

Interested in joining Ally's team of talented technologists to make a difference for our customers and communities? Check outAlly Careersto learn more.