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Using A.I. to Assure Identity and Privacy in the Digital Age

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It used to be the case that we mostly proved our identity by offering up a piece of paper. Perhaps that seems silly now — at least a little. In the digital age, that is definitely no longer the situation — and for good reason. Right now, we have difficulties of our own. Today, our digital information seems like it is everywhere and available for anyone to access, whether they are well intentioned or not. Because there is so much information, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to prove who someone actually is or is not. Through the use of A.I., Persona answers the fundamental question: Are you who you say you are? Rick Song is the CEO and Co-Founder of Persona, and he believes removing humans from the verification process is part of the solution.

Identity in the digital age can be incredibly complex. Therefore, solutions are required that have the capacity to meet the challenge. Artificial intelligence technology can be the answer.

On this episode of IT Visionaries, Rick, dives into how A.I. technology is allowing Persona to prove identity with increased speed, privacy, and specificity. He also shares some gems of wisdom that he learned about sales as he transitioned from his engineering background to become a CEO. Enjoy the episode.

Main Takeaway

    • Identity Service Tools: Building identity infrastructure can be incredibly challenging for companies if that is not their area of expertise. Rather than having to create that structure from scratch, integrating an A.I. platform can make identity verification much easier. Using A.I. technology increases speed, privacy, and specificity.
    • Tailoring to Companies and People: Many companies and people suffer due to lack of trusted identity services geared directly for them. Companies typically have difficulty identifying their customers. Through the use of A.I. technology, customers can be reached that historically have not had access to important resources.
    • Learning to Sell: It’s definitely not easy transitioning from engineering to selling. Good friends, mentors, practice, and lots of honesty help. Focusing on the customer rather than what the company does is the key. Find what the customer cares about and hone in on that. 

For a more in-depth look at this episode, check out the article below.


Article 

It used to be the case that we mostly proved our identity by offering up a piece of paper. Perhaps that seems silly now — at least a little. In the digital age, that is definitely no longer the situation — and for good reason. Right now, we have difficulties of our own. Today, our digital information seems like it is everywhere and available for anyone to access, whether they are well intentioned or not. Because there is so much information, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to prove who someone actually is or is not. Through the use of A.I., Persona answers the fundamental question: Are you who you say you are? Rick Song, the CEO and Co-Founder of Persona, made the contention that removing humans from the verification process is part of the solution.

Everything within Persona fundamentally is A.I. power, Song said. “There is no human in the loop. For end users, there’s three major benefits of this. Number one, it’s faster. It means that as opposed to waiting an hour, two hours, a day, for access…it’s instead a couple of seconds, two to three seconds and you’re in. Two, it’s privacy first. As opposed to knowing that some person out there is rummaging through your personal information, there’s no one looking at this…And three, we also want to make it personalized. If you are someone with, let’s say a lower credit score, unable to have access, a recent immigrant, a lower credit profile, making sure that this individual has alternative ways to be able to verify themselves.”

Identity in the digital age can be incredibly complex. Therefore, solutions are required that have the capacity to meet the challenge. Artificial intelligence can be the answer.

On this episode of IT Visionaries, Song explained how A.I. is allowing Persona to prove identity with increased speed, privacy, and specificity. Song also shared some gems of wisdom he’s learned about sales as he transitioned from his engineering background to his current role as CEO. 

Companies used to have to build their own identity verification infrastructure, but in recent years that’s started to change. Song pointed out that businesses can now integrate platforms such as Persona’s into their current workflow. 

“We’re offering them identity services that they can integrate into their platform that’s built with the security and privacy first mentality to make sure that they wouldn’t have to build this themselves,” Song said. “For a lot of businesses out there, that’s not their core expertise. They’re not in here to factually try to reinvent the most well-encrypted, well-secured, service out there. They’re here to really offer their consumer services that can help simplify their lives, and our goal is to make sure they can do that in the most secure and privacy-centric way possible.”

One of the key components of A.I. platforms to date is the ability for companies to set hyper-specific boundaries within its datasets to best target its customers. When Song was going through the design process of the platform, he strove to build in a way that could apply to many different industries.

“Can we create something that even expanded beyond just fintech?” Song said. “Could we create something that could apply to gig economy for customers like Postmates, to hospitality with folks like Sonder, for edtech like Coursera to fintech like with Gusto. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on making this universal layer, and the way in which we enabled this is giving our customers back that control, [and] giving them building blocks to mix-and-match all of these different approaches to make sure it makes the most sense for them as the business and to make the most sense for individuals as well.”

After creating Persona, the next step was to sell it. Fundamentally, customers want to know that a product or service will help them achieve their business goals. Song discovered the best way to connect with customers was to simply show them how Persona could benefit them.

“The first task is always making sure that you show value,” Song said. “The security piece will always come in as the second half. It’s a very, very important second half, but the first half was really making sure that the experience itself was seamless. It was beautiful. Generally, the demo that we always put our customers through is showing them the verification experience.”

With selling, there is definitely a learning curve for everyone. Being self-reflective certainly can  help, but Song found out that leaning on friends for trusted advice was the key.

“There were a lot of calls that we messed up on too in the early days,” Song said. “Got a little too rambly. Didn’t talk about what actually mattered. Didn’t focus nearly enough on the customer. Was way too focused on what we do and not enough about what they care about. All the amateur mistakes, we went through. I’d say honestly the biggest help that I got was a lot of friends, a lot of mentors going back and forth, mock selling over and over, doing all the reps and trying to get a little bit better at it.”

To hear more about how Song and Persona are using cutting-edge AI technology to verify identity, check out the full episode of IT Visionaries!


To hear the entire discussion, tune into IT Visionaries here

Episode 305