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Is Artificial Intelligence Taking Your Job? The Future of the Insurance Industry and AI

Friday, 2 June 2023

The disruption caused by the pandemic expedited the world's shift toward artificial intelligence technology, as more businesses were forced to discover new ways to maintain a connection with employees and customers without physical contact. Seemingly overnight, remote workplaces popped up, online channels were upgraded, and out-of-the-box solutions were developed, all in an effort to keep the world running. While many waited to see how these changes would affect their bottom lines, it soon became clear an increased emphasis placed on digital and artificial technologies paired with a willingness to adopt such measures was the way of the future.

There are conflicting opinions on the subject, as Canada seeks to set itself apart as a leader in AI research, using it to create, not destroy, jobs in numerous fields. There is strong evidence to support the success of the country's artificial intelligence sector, which has helped create an impressive 50,000 jobs since 2010. However, the vast majority of these positions are in the AI field itself, researching new ways to use artificial technology in the business sector.


The Impact Of AI On The Insurance Sector

For those outside this field, AI has the power to transform the way the world operates, reducing instances of human error and cutting overhead costs, two factors that are appealing to business owners; but it comes at a price. For example, in the last twelve months, 62% of insurers worldwide have reduced staff due to implementing machine learning and AI technologies.

Many of these are lower-level jobs, such as data entry, which no longer require manual input. That could mean trouble for underwriters who may find themselves redundant in the near future. However, the human factor has one thing AI will never possess; industry knowledge acquired from real-life experiences.

According to Jess DeVerter, Rackspace Technology's Cheif Technology Evangelist, "The industry knowledge is indispensable, that's needed to train models, it's needed to move forward and needed to take those models and then figure out how we can monetize them even better in the future." That's great news for those who may find themselves in a vulnerable position moving forward.

On a larger scale, AI offers exciting opportunities for insurers to work in real-time with their clients, providing:

  • On the spot quotes
  • Inspections
  • Route Suggestions
  • And more

These updates will actively help reduce the chance of accidents or injury. If carriers gain a deep understanding of how AI is changing the industry, they can begin to adapt. They can start training their employees with the skillsets necessary to complement, not compete with, inevitable AI technology integration.

AI Trends Shaping The Future Of Insurance

In order to understand the impact AI will have on jobs, particularly those within the insurance sector, we must take a closer look at the trends expected in the near future. These will provide a clear indication of newly emerging fields and possible positions that may faze out in the coming years.

An Expansion Of Robotic Inventions

Merely ten years ago, the idea that robotics would play a significant role in all areas of life, from farming to construction, still seemed like a science fiction dream to many. However, thanks to the advances in additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, carriers are quickly finding they must reassess how they calculate risk. By 2030, the world will see an increase in autonomous drones, farming equipment, and surgical robots, while the vast majority of vehicles will boast self-driving capabilities. Carriers must determine how the increased robotic presence will impact daily life, alter customer expectations, and create new channels and products.

Cognitive Technology Advancements

We've already begun seeing the emergence of convolutional learning networks, which mimic the brain's ability to continue learning through inference and decomposition. Soon, this technology will become standard in a wide array of applications, especially for processing complex and large data streams. The result? Carriers will have the ability to access real-time information collected from insurance products tied to an individual's activities and behaviour. This commercialization will provide the information necessary to respond to underlying risks related to these behaviours as they happen.

Open-Sourced Data Collection

Open-source data is already in use, making it a short jump to real-time integration for carriers. Users can upload their information through a variety of entities, both private and public, to create their own customized "ecosystem." This data will port directly to their insurance carrier, who can analyze it and make ongoing risk assessments tied to their habits and activities.

Increased Device Connections

While industrial settings have used connected device sensors for decades, this technology is set to infiltrate the consumer sector within the near future. Existing devices like fitness trackers, smartphones, home assistance, smartwatches, and cars, will merge with upcoming technology like medical devices, clothing, shoes, eyewear, and home appliances. By 2025, experts believe the number of connected devices worldwide will grow to over one trillion, signalling an increase in data unlike anything ever witnessed in history. With this information, carriers can more deeply understand their clientele, allowing them to provide more comprehensive service options, more accurate pricing, and new product offerings tailored toward the individual's needs.

So, is AI really going to take your job? It’s unlikely. Rather than perceiving AI as a threat that jeopardizes job security, it can be more productive to view it as a tool that can augment human capabilities and drive operational efficiency in the insurance industry. With proper planning and foresight, companies can identify areas where AI can assume routine, repetitive tasks, freeing up human employees to focus on higher-value activities that require creativity, critical thinking, and empathy.

By: Liz Stephenson