- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Artificial Intelligence: A 50 year Overnight Sensation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic for decades. Over the years, scientists and deep thinkers have mapped out the interest, needs, and rudimentary applications, awaiting the proper technology to support new applications that could calculate, summarize, and present with a time close to human responses.  Are we making progress?

It started out with twists, turns and Hal …

We have had some development, but not in a real-world way.  Science fiction authors – as well as creative producers, actors, and AI groupies – have continued visioning the future of humans and machines.

From the real world, some organizations did not buy in.   These folks have developed internal data management tools and protocols.  The machine’s direction is purely supportive. Management uses the data blended with its own assumptions.  And it works… sort of.

Some organizations fear use of AI. They see the machine as a version of Hal 9000, which, they fear, will take the upper hand, following its own instructions; viz., “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that”.

But all of this is changing rapidly

Debates have gone on for over 50 years, frequently resulting in pushing action ahead.  However, we are now getting technologies with required speed and data access to emulate rudimentary conversations and commands.

And consumers are getting a peak.  Alexa– the home based AI – has been on offer for some time.

At the business standpoint, implementations are becoming more sophisticated, allowing consumers to understand commercial applications. Oliver Pickup, writing in Racounter, defined the interest and introduced the enabling technologies:

“Artificial intelligence, or AI, and machines threatening humanity’s status quo have, for decades, been the staple of dystopian science fiction. Now the bot has bolted.” (emphasis supplied)

In other words, the gate has been opened, and AI applications are running in many different directions.  So what should we do?

The time for waiting is over …

Oliver Pickup admonishes the C-level folk to take this seriously and quickly: “It is time for C-suiters to get serious and engage with AI, realize its huge untapped potential and take the lead in shaping the present, as well as the future.”

Specifically, Pickup quotes Randy Dean, Chief Business Officer at Launchpad.AI:

“Everything invented in the past 150 years will be reinvented using AI within the next 15 years, …Every industry is going to be affected; almost every enterprise problem is ripe for an AI-derived solution or improvement.”

Dean says that the interest and speed will have has a similar pattern of deployment – by business executives:

“In the same way that the internet rippled through the business community over the course of ten to fifteen years, and the mobile did the same, AI will take that same path.”

And Canada is playing a lead role

Back in late summer last year, Alicja Grzadkowska, news editor at Insurance Business, posted an article: Canadian insurance companies at the forefront of AI adoption.

Grzadkowska interviewed Stephen Applebaum, managing partner of the Insurance Solutions Group. Applebaum suggests that the higher penetration of brokers, versus other parts of the world, focuses the distribution channel requirements.

When the brokers got their minds around AI, Applebaum says, “The brokerage industry has quickly learned the value of AI in everything from marketing to customer service delivery.”

And, due to the high penetration of brokers, Carriers and supporting organizations simply followed suit.  Early entrants included Aviva Canada, The Co-operators and Crawford & Company.  Other distributors and suppliers are launching trials

And is supporting the movement …

We caught the movement early on and have been supporting new developments. Back in August, our Executive Forum agendahad a number of sessions supporting new developments, including AI. Blockchain, ‘Unthinkable’ Digital Age, Trōv, and several panels.

In November, our Senior Partner, Doug Grant, put together an MGA Symposium, which tilted heavily into the new methods – especially AI and Analytics.

And last  – but certainly not least – we are a week out for the 2019 Insurance-Canada Technology Conference(26-27 February 2019, Beanfield Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto). This two-day event is packed to the rafters, with a strong tilt to AI, Telematics, Cyber Claims, Blockchain, and more.

We also have a segregated broker stream with a dozen of strong presentations, including

And that is less than 20% of the action. Check out the ICTC2019 Overview, and join us next week!

One Comment

Patrick Vice,

Thanks, Max… It does seem like things take forever, but your response to the posts gives me some hope.


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