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The ramifying economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is putting a spotlight on the intensifying economic inequality and income volatility, the rise of AI-driven back office and consumer facing processes, the challenges of serving a community banking function in a tech- and digital media-saturated environment, and the threat to branch banking in an era of industry consolidation and the expectation of always-online, on-demand service. Led by Filene Fellow Bill Maurer, the Center for Emerging Technology will address these trends through clusters of research activities and outputs.

What work will be done by the Center for Emerging Technology?

If artificial intelligence/machine learning-driven credit scoring techniques using alternative data sources before the pandemic were at risk of discriminating against protected classes of persons, the impact of Covid-19 on credit scores is only beginning to be appreciated. People are missing rent and utility bill payments, skipping credit card payments, and losing alternative sources of income from gig economy work while facing health care bills, providing their own child and elder care, and putting off major financial decisions because they simply can no longer plan. The CARES Act provided for new credit reporting protections, but the impact of the past several months and year- to two-year post-Covid-19 period on people’s credit scores requires proactive guidance to build new models to ensure equitable access to credit.

Research activities/outputs: 

  • One-page brief on CARES Act provisions related to credit reporting.
  • Report-out on data trusts convening held in January 2020, and commissioned paper by Sean McDonald.
  • Survey of existing research on alternative credit scoring in the wake of Covid-19.
  • Webinar on equitable credit after Covid-19.

Learn more about the cluster of research activities and outputs that Dr. Maurer plans to analyze to address technology trends by downloading the overview. 

Filene’s Center for Emerging Technology is generously funded by:

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