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Make Data Work
September 25–26, 2017: Training
September 26–28, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

AI at scale at American Express: Walking the talk

Priya Koul (American Express)
2:35pm3:00pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

Data and analytics are central to powering growth and competitive differentiation in the payments and commerce space. With the increasing demand for mobile and digital capabilities, the end-user expectation for real-time and relevant information is increasing exponentially. American Express has a history of innovation and is no stranger to capitalizing on emerging technologies to enhance existing ecosystems and platforms. By combining well-established practices with cognitive technology, Amex is delivering new ways for customers to interact with the company in the digital channels of their choice. The Amex brand stands for premium customer service, and leveraging AI is enabling the company to make significant advancements that augment customer service in the most relevant ways for its consumers.

To meet the fast-evolving needs of internal and external users, Amex has created an AI ecosystem through reusable components, utilities, APIs, self-service tools, and a scalable, economic infrastructure. To further advance innovation, American Express has created communities of technical practice to drive experimentation, develop unified approaches to the technology, and support open source projects.

Drawing from her experiences and insights gained from leading the Amex digital partnerships team’s artificial intelligence strategy, Priya Koul explains how machine learning and deep learning inferences and NLP deliver innovative real-time experiences and services to American Express card members and partners and shares demos, such as the Amex Bot for Facebook Messenger, which is helping card members stay on top of spending with real-time purchase alerts, information about card benefits, dining recommendations, and redemption reminders for Amex Offers. She also discusses how Amex’s investment and partnership in innovative startups like Mezi is enabling new AI launches.

Photo of Priya Koul

Priya Koul

American Express

Priya Koul is the vice president of engineering for digital partnerships and closed-loop capabilities at American Express, where she leads key initiatives that transform its enterprise network information assets into innovative digital products and create unique value for customers in mobile and web applications and on partner platforms. Priya also leads the company’s end-to-end technology strategy, capability development, and technology platforms to launch innovative digital products and partnerships while advancing core platforms powering Amex’s closed-loop. Her team partners closely with several business and technology teams in driving the launch of key digital products all the way from ideation and product definition and design to deployment and ongoing management across all American Express markets. Priya has led the launch of several unique, groundbreaking, and industry-first digital products enabling strategic partnerships with Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, Xbox, Apple, Samsung, and TripAdvisor. She also led the development and launch of key AXP network platforms such as Card SYNC, Smart Offers, and Tweet to Buy, leading the journey from payments to commerce.

Her team launched the ability for American Express card members to pay with points in NYC taxi cabs, from within the Uber app, on BestBuy online, at Rite Aid, McDonald’s, and Chili’s restaurants, and on Airbnb. She also leads the global American Express SafeKey payer authentication capability that adds an extra layer of security for online shoppers and drives the advancement of strategic on network global platforms that power Amex’s Digital Offer ecosystem and campaigns like Small Business Saturday and Shop Small globally. Priya led the Digital Payment platform Amex Express Checkout across multiple online merchants, and her team was also responsible for building an API payment platform that facilitates B2B payments for large and middle-market payment partners. In addition to advancement and delivery of tech platforms, she also leads the community of technical practice for artificial intelligence across American Express. Priya’s core strengths include partnership building across internal and external partners. She places the highest importance on developing her team, fostering an innovative mindset, and collaboration. She is consistently recognized as a strategic leader with technical expertise and the ability to lead and motivate high-performing teams.