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Artificial intelligence and other technologies hold great promise for the insurance industry but are not without issues, such as adoption and security, according to a panel of insurance and technology industry executives speaking at the Insurance Information Institute’s Joint Industry Forum in New York on Thursday.
Andrew Robinson, co-CEO for Groundspeed Analytics Inc. in Atlanta, left his life in the insurance industry “to join an early-stage insurtech company because I saw the great potential technology offered. I’m a full believer in the enablement of our industry and the role that technology is now playing, particularly AI and big data.”
Technology by itself, however, is not an answer to all challenges faced by the insurance industry, according to Sean Ringsted, executive vice president, chief digital officer and chief risk officer for Chubb Ltd.
“For me and Chubb, we couldn’t be more excited about the possibility of AI and big data and how it can be a force for good,” with a couple of caveats, he said.
“It’s not going to do everything by itself; you’ve got to bring other technologies and capabilities to bear on that,” Mr. Ringsted said, adding “there’s always going to be a place for a human touch.”
Customers and clients are engaged but do have concerns, said Kyle Schmitt, managing director, global insurance practice for J.D. Power.
“There are two areas that the customer is thinking about,” he said, data and the algorithms that use the data.
“They seem willing to share data,” but become more skeptical when considering the algorithms, concerned about “the fairness and acceptability of using computers to make decisions.”
The fairness issue was echoed by another panelist.
“I think what’s important is, as we develop AI systems, we develop them in a way that lends itself to fair outcomes,” said James Roche, Chicago-based vice president, product development for Verisk Analytics Inc.
“Customers actually want to participate,” Mr. Schmitt said. “They just want ground rules.”
Insurance experts said that advances in artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies have accelerated the ability of insurers to predict risks, Raconteur reported. The experts said that algorithms are now used to find trends and patterns that help forecast the probability of a risk occurring again.