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UC Berkeley Graduate Project Receives Recognition for Groundbreaking Work in Identifying Insider Trading – PoliWatch

Groundbreaking Project Utilizes Advanced AI to Combat Financial Misconduct Among U.S. Lawmakers, Garnering Esteemed Recognition for Social Good Efforts.

(PRUnderground) March 28th, 2024

A team of graduate students from the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Information (iSchool) has been honored for their innovative project designed to combat congressional insider trading. Their initiative, known as PoliWatch, was recently awarded the prestigious Sarukkai Social Impact Award.

Established in 2021 by Sekhar and Rajashree Sarukkai, the Sarukkai Social Impact Award recognizes exceptional contributions to social welfare made by iSchool students. The award specifically celebrates excellence within the iSchool Master’s Capstone Projects, honoring initiatives with the potential to make significant progress in resolving critical social challenges.

PoliWatch: Utilizing AI to Address Insider Trading

PoliWatch leverages cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) to identify instances of insider trading among members of the U.S. Congress. The project represents a pioneering effort to address the challenge of illicit financial gains made by government officials.

The PoliWatch team – comprised of Matthew Dodd, Aditya Shah, Jocelyn Thai, and Connor Yen – embarked on their research with a mission to expose and rectify this concerning issue. Their project utilizes AI algorithms to detect and monitor potential conflicts of interest in securities transactions involving active members of Congress.

Significance of PoliWatch

The project’s leaders highlight the importance of their work in promoting ethical conduct among elected officials. “When elected representatives conceal conflicts of interest, it undermines the integrity of legislation and public policy, ultimately harming society at large,” Aditya Shah, one of the project leaders, is quoted in the press release. “Our commitment to addressing this issue aligns closely with the principles of social good, and we are deeply honored to receive recognition through the Sarukkai Social Impact Award.”

Matthew Dodd emphasizes the urgency of tackling congressional insider trading, noting the negative impact it has on public trust. “The prevalence of unethical market practices among elected officials not only incites public outrage but also erodes trust in the judicial process,” he says. “Despite overwhelming evidence, perpetrators often evade accountability, leaving citizens feeling disenfranchised and powerless.”

Looking Forward

The PoliWatch project is a significant step forward in promoting transparency and accountability within the U.S. Congress. The team’s innovative approach to utilizing AI to detect insider trading has the potential to make a real difference in restoring public trust in our government institutions.

For more details and to learn more about the strides PoliWatch is making in combating congressional insider trading, visit the PoliWatch Project Page

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