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Put AI to Work
April 15-18, 2019
New York, NY
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Fraud Detection without Feature Engineering

Pamela Vagata (Stripe)
11:05am11:45am Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Case Studies, Machine Learning
Location: Sutton South
Secondary topics:  AI case studies, Financial Services

Who is this presentation for?

Data Scientists, ML Engineers



Prerequisite knowledge

A basic understanding of deep learning

What you'll learn

How to apply deep-learning methods to detect fraudulent users


In many industrial ML applications, feature engineering consumes the lion’s share of time, energy and resources. Deep learning promises to replace feature engineering with models that learn end-to-end from “close-to-reality” data, and has convincingly realized this promise for computer vision and natural language processing. Does this promise apply outside of these domains?

In this talk, we will explore how Stripe has applied deep learning techniques to predict fraud from raw behavioral data. Since fraud detection is a critical business problem for Stripe, a well-tuned feature-engineered model is available for comparison. We find that the deep learning model outperforms the feature-engineered model both on predictive performance, and in the effort spent on data engineering, model construction, tuning, and maintenance. Hopefully, this talk will continue to excite a shift in industry practice, towards deeper models trained end-to-end and away from labor-intensive feature engineering.

Photo of Pamela Vagata

Pamela Vagata


Pamela Vagata is the AI tech-lead at Stripe, focusing on building deep-learning models. Before joining Stripe, she was a member of Facebook AI Research, developed FBLearner Flow, Facebook’s production ML infrastructure and spent time building data infrastructure.

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