Lawmakers gain insight into FinCEN’s use of AI, machine learning

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A group of lawmakers recently participated in a briefing yielding insight into the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technology to detect illicit financial activity.

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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, joined Reps. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), Bill Foster (D-IL) and French Hill (R-AR) in meeting with members of the House Financial Services Committee and FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco to learn more about how the bureau is working with regulators to encourage the use of the technologies among financial institutions.

“With the evolution of virtual currencies and new marketplaces, nefarious actors are continuously adapting to find new ways to engage in illegal financial activity,” Cleaver said. “Now that we’re seeing a giant corporation like Facebook—which has already shown an inability to identify and impede these kinds of actors at an acceptable level—creating its own virtual currency called Libra, it cannot be understated the importance of Congress and financial transmitters to be proactive in utilizing the newest and most powerful technologies to ensure the financial system is not being used improperly. I believe we had a fruitful discussion on some ways the United States can do just that.”

Foster said FinCEN’s work is critical to national security and the prevention of illegal activities such as money laundering and illicit financing.

“It was great to see their proactive engagement in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in order to do their job better,” Foster said. “I look forward to working closely with my colleagues to ensure FinCEN has the resources it needs to effectively carry out its mission.”

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