American Express Now Has a Data Analytics, Risk & Technology Lab in IIT Madras

The American Express Data Analytics, Risk, and Technology (DART) lab was inaugurated at the IIT Madras on Thursday. The main aim of the lab is to determine itself as a world-class hub of research in risk analytics and behavioral sciences by using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and relevant technologies.

The lab is aimed at dealing with the risks associated with human behavior and decisions. The overarching goal of the lab is to engineer technologies to manage the risks by developing a science-based understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of humans. It will also create talent for the industry by partnering with academia. 

The lab is set through a grant by American Express to market talent and variety in Technology. American Express has also started annual scholarships for economically-disadvantaged and meritorious students which also has ‘Ambition Awards’ for deserving female students at IIT Madras.

Talking about this initiative, Manoj Adlakha, Senior Vice President and CEO at American Express Banking Corp., India mentioned in a release, “We are proud to partner with the country’s premier academic institution to invest in the future of cutting-edge data science and analytics research.”

Earlier this year, American Express had a worldwide survey in partnership with the New York Women’s Foundation to explore and understand the relation between university-educated working women with ‘Ambition’. The survey discovered that Indian women’s commitment to achieving professional and private ambitions ranked the very best – with 89% of university-educated women in India believing its important to have ambitions, and 70% proud to call themselves ‘ambitious.’

The Lab at IIT Madras will study multiple verticals with key emphasis on manufacturing, healthcare, finance, operations management, and smart cities.

Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “The DART Lab will focus on bringing data analytics to bear on problems arising due to the interplay of human factors and inherent risk or uncertainty in the work environment due to unknown or partial information. The scholarships and awards will encourage our women students to excel in STEM and pursue enriching careers at the post-graduate level.”

The research of the DART lab will develop new technologies to explore the cognition and attention of the decision-makers and avoid potential accidents in high-risk industries. The same technologies can be applied across various dimensions like employee engagement and attention, studying and enhancing the education quality and learning in school, especially in online classes as they are administered in the pandemic where teachers are unable to read the body language of students. The research will be available to be used for government coordination and education advancements.

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