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Journal

Welcoming Our Head of AI

Modern Treasury recently welcomed our new Head of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Patrick Harrington. Here, he shares his journey to Modern Treasury and what he thinks the future of AI in payments looks like.

Patrick HarringtonHead of AI

I have been paying fairly close attention to the team at Modern Treasury over the past two years because financial infrastructure has been undergoing significant innovation. The Modern Treasury platform uses data to move, track, and reconcile money at scale, and in real time, bringing value to our customers quickly. The nexus of the innovation at the core of our platform, along with where AI is (and going), presents a sea change for many financial related tasks—a critical function of every enterprise. Coupling that with an entire company of really smart and humble individuals, it felt like a wonderful opportunity to link arms and join as their Head of AI.

AI and Machine Learning (ML) have been an academic and professional passion of mine over the past decade and a half since completing my Ph.D. at the University of Michigan—in particular, I am interested in building and accelerating AI-assisted products. This experience has spanned multiple startups and large enterprises, including being part of the founding team of Walmart Labs where I helped co-found the Walmart Connect advertising data platform, building out the initial AI/ML function at Workday, leading Square’s Risk ML and Engineering organizations, as well as heading all AI/ML and data platform infrastructure for Block.

I have had the privilege of working on some exciting projects and leading amazing teams, and I can already see so much potential for the continued interweaving of AI across the entire Modern Treasury platform.

AI at Modern Treasury

At our recent event, Transfer 2024: Beyond Payments, we announced a new set of Reconciliation features that leverage AI.

Our team has established a robust framework for responsibly integrating AI into our platform and we’ve centered that work around three key principles:

  1. The customer is always in control with the highest standards of data encryption, privacy, and auditability. We separate the provider (e.g., entity who is performing the inferencing) from the model. We treat all AI inputs and outputs with the same security and privacy as all other customer data, meaning one customer’s data isn’t learning from another customer’s data.
  2. We operate with unwavering accuracy and precision, 100% of the time. In addition to our controls, we have strong observability capabilities to ensure AI is performing with the fidelity we expect. We build our products and features so that any work done on behalf of a customer must be reviewed and accepted by the customer. AI is an incredibly capable assistant, but like anything critical to business, we take a “trust but verify” approach. We also capture any interaction where the human accepts the work of AI for later quality assurance and auditability.
  3. We provide all of our support with seamless scalability. We have deployed a cell-based architecture to scale both horizontally and vertically—this means one customer’s data is always discrete from another customer’s data. We also rolled out Bulk APIs designed to handle large volumes of data.

These principles ensure that Modern Treasury delivers AI-based solutions that are not only innovative but also reliable, secure, and impactful to our customers.

By integrating ML and AI, we aim to continue revolutionizing financial operations, streamlining workflows for companies, and drive meaningful innovation across a variety of sectors. While innovation is amazing, innovation in and of itself does not make a better customer experience by default. We have to understand how to translate that innovation into products and workflows that are delightful, create efficiency, and ultimately create value for all parties.

We want our platform to be the thing that makes these innovations readily consumable by our customers, their users, and their end customers. I’m truly thrilled to be here to help Modern Treasury support our current and future customers and establish an industry high water mark for meaningful and impactful AI driven products in the financial domain.

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