Fighting Fraud with Machine Learning at Shopify with Solmaz Shahalizadeh

800 800 The TWIML AI Podcast (formerly This Week in Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence)

The podcast you’re about to hear is the first of a series of shows recorded at the Georgian Partners Portfolio Conference last week in Toronto. My guest for this show is Solmaz Shahalizadeh, Director of Merchant Services Algorithms at Shopify. Solmaz gave a great talk at the GPPC focused on her team’s experiences applying machine learning to fight fraud and improve merchant satisfaction.

Solmaz and I dig into, step-by-step, the process they used to transition from a legacy, rules-based fraud detection system system to a more scalable, flexible one based on machine learning models. We discuss the importance of well-defined project scope; tips and traps when selecting features to train your models; and the various models, transformations and pipelines the Shopify team selected; and how they use PMML to make their Python models available to their Ruby-on-Rails web application.

Thanks to Our Sponsor

Georgian Partners is a venture capital firm whose investment thesis is that certain tech trends change every aspect of a software business over time including business models, product plans, people and skills, technology platforms, pricing, and packaging. Georgian invests in those companies best positioned to take advantage of these trends and then works closely with those companies to develop and execute the strategies necessary to make it happen. Applied AI is one of the trends they’re investing in, as are Conversational Business and Security First. Georgian sponsored this series and we thank them for their support. To learn more about Georgian visit, where you’ll also be able to download white papers on the principles of applied AI and conversational business.

Events Update

If you’re in New York City on October 30th and 31st, we hope you’ll join us at the NYU Future Labs AI Summit & Happy Hour. As you may remember, we attended the inaugural Summit back in April. The fall event features more great speakers, including Corinna Cortes, Head of Research at Google NY, Davide Venturelli, Science Operations Manager at NASA Ames Quantum AI Lab, and Dennis Mortensen, CEO & Founder of startup For the event homepage visit, and for 25% off of tickets, use code TWIML25. For details on the happy hour visit our events page at

About Solmaz

Mentioned in the Interview

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