Industry Technosavvy the November 2015 issue

Q&A with Karen Furtado

Karen Furtado, Partner, Strategy Meets Action
By Michael Fitzpatrick Posted on October 30, 2015
Q
What is artificial intelligence?
A
What we are really talking about is the use of technology that imitates and ultimately can transcend human intelligence. We often talk about predictive analytics as if it’s artificial intelligence, but there’s definitely a distinction. Both use big data, but artificial intelligence learns from the information. It makes decisions and can progress in that learning.
Q
How quickly is it being adopted in the insurance industry?
A
It’s still fairly uncommon. But we see in both property-casualty and life and annuity that at least 20% of insurers feel they will have adopted artificial intelligence to some degree within five years. Certainly within 10 years we’ll be well over the tipping point, where more than 50% expect they’re going to use it.
Q
How is AI being used?
A
In claims where you can monitor information as it’s coming in and start to detect any fraudulent trends that the adjuster just can’t see. Artificial intelligence is going to use a vast repository of previous claims data to see if there is anything fraudulent. One extension is through social media: gathering a large array of information and understanding the relationships between people to detect some very sophisticated fraud rings that are going on right now.

We’re starting to see it used more from a mitigation standpoint. A great example is alerts that tell drivers about changing road conditions. Another place we’ve seen high potential is in the customer service realm where there are technologies very much attuned to voice and inflection—more tone and emotion than exact words—that can almost be a virtual assistant to the customer service person to help them move that conversation in a different direction.

Q
Where is it going?
A
It really is going to be focused on providing assistance within any process that requires human interaction, whether that be in customer service, claims or the underwriting process. Any place where we can learn from experience and apply it and where technology could supplement human intelligence. Artificial intelligence helps deliver personalized rates and services to an individual that could not have been done before.
Q
How will AI affect agents and brokers?
A
Agents were early adopters of social media. They may have a high propensity to be early adopters of some forms of artificial intelligence when it comes to targeting the correct policyholders that they want within their portfolios.
Q
Virtual agents?
A
Back in the day, the view was that artificial intelligence would somehow displace people. Now we see it more as augmenting the decision process, so underwriters and claims adjusters can deal with the most urgent and complex risks and claims. It almost gets rid of the noise so you can really apply people to the most complex areas. I hope it will result in a higher degree of satisfaction from the policyholders. Ultimately that’s where everyone in the industry wants to go.
Michael Fitzpatrick Technology Editor Read More

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