Detectica, Inc.: Securing AI Investment with Reliable Intelligence

Dr.Foster Provost, Founder, Detectica, Inc.Dr.Foster Provost, Founder
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”—Albert Einstein.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) solution providers are omnipresent, however, most of the solutions they provide fail to explain the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the recommended decisions relative to the organizational goals. Especially, the CFOs of financial, advertising and real estate companies have to face countless challenges in having a robust AI strategy in place. The Investments in AI-based solutions are similar to those in R&D, because “One cannot assess the outcome in advance before trying,” says Dr. Foster Provost, a Founder of Detectica, Inc.

"The “knowledge” in AI systems is created by some combination of human judgment and machine learning from data, and thus all AI systems have blindspots, which arise from human biases and/or biases in data collection and processing. The first step in mitigating the risk from these “unknown unknowns” is to find them. “Detectica, with their unique suite of services and patented technology, helps organizations lift the shroud of uncertainty involving their AI investments.” “For example, where are our AI investments most likely to pay off quickly? The cleanest applications of AI to improve business outcomes are cases where the data necessary to make the decisions and the decision-making interface are already automated, and ideally in the same system.” Based on Detectica's advice and guidance, organizations can either choose to create an AI solution on their own, have someone else build it for them it, or outsource it to Detectica.

According to Dr. Provost, AI solutions often involve not just the primary investments in building the system, but many complimentary investments: people, processes, and business transformation. Therefore, it’s imperative for a business to conduct a pilot project to assess the feasibility before implementing the solution. Detectica strongly advises CFOs to make smaller investments and do the necessary “homework” to mitigate the risk of failed investments in AI-led initiatives. Organizations can either choose to create an AI solution on their own, have someone else build it for them it, or outsource it to Detectica.

At the outset of a client engagement, Detectica works with the customers to plans a roadmap that may include building an in-house data science team. A key element of their engagement is the “stakeholder workshop” that guides clients on how stakeholders ought to think. The training program helps firms focus on opportunities, all while understanding the challenges. Not only does it facilitate the discussion of how AI/machine learning/data science may solve the problem, but also fill specific knowledge gaps on these technologies and work toward specific designs. “Many organizations already have a solid data strategy, but lack sufficient understanding of advanced analytics; Detectica helps them polish and implement their AI strategy,” says Dr. Provost.

Many organizations already have a solid data strategy, but lack sufficient understanding of advanced analytics; Detectica helps them polish and implement their AI strategy


Complementary to the advisory services on AI-strategy implementation, Detectica offers a solution to address clients’ increasing needs to monitor their employees for objectionable behavior by monitoring electronic communications (emails and chats). Based on years of experience solving this problem, Detectica's system combines a wide variety of evidence, as opposed to treating the problem as email filtering.

In a nutshell, while firms have analysts to monitor for potentially objectionable activity (not just in Compliance—Facebook does this too), Detectica gives them analytic superpowers, like analyzing the strength of professional relationships, assessing emotional state, and combining various evidence sources automatically, to better understand the associated risks.

Detectica’s AI-enabled solution is robust and flexible, allowing the seamless addition of new features based on a client’s specific functional needs. While the firm builds the standard system by leveraging the power of machine learning and AI, clients can make additional investments into adding innovative features. For instance, combining employee information from the HR database and looking at indicators of potential threats in the emails, or adding a trade alert system into the existing AI solution of a banking firm. Detectica then embeds an emotional analysis feature into the solution to help teams gain insights on spikes in stress or other emotions of professional relationships. The analysis delivers overwhelming benefits in the long run by assisting to keep a check on the risk.

Over the past few years, Detectica put all these aspects of its business together for one of its clients, who was interested in investing in AI to improve employee monitoring. Counted among the most prominent global banks, the client approached Detectica to help design and implement their AI strategy in this area. Detectica convened meetings with executives, administrators, and subject-matter experts, and conducted workshops to ensure all were on the same page. Upon inspection, the joint team found that the bank’s existing systems could be much better aligned with the problem they were trying to solve. Detectica interacted with the client’s management team and presented a framework laying out the transformation that AI could bring. By building a next generation AI-enabled solution, Detectica not only helped improve the technology substantially, but also addressed the challenges of on-going surveillance in a dynamic business world.

As a forward-thinking company driven by the passion for disrupting the industry through its cutting edge solutions, Detectica is continually expanding its network in the AI and machine learning arena. Detectica’s founders have worked on aligning AI solutions with business strategy for decades, and the company has evolved into being one of the most admired data science and AI solution providers and has among the most extensive professional networks.