Augmenting the Future: The Emerging Role of the Cognitive Insurer
Article Synopsis :
This presentation from IBM’s Kelley Buchanan explores why cognitive technologies (AI/ML) are getting so much attention from insurers, and how best to invest in these technologies for competitive advantage. Her argument goes something like this:
Business and technology trends are moving rapidly on multiple fronts, creating the need for investments in new capabilities to respond and compete. Also, the explosion of digital and IoT content makes it impossible for humans to make sense of it all.
Automation is key. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is the foundation of automation, including software robotics, software mimicking human actions, and new capabilities—for example, intelligent automation and auditing.
RPA combined with cognitive automation delivers even more value in the following areas:
- Autonomous decision-making: “reason and remember”
- New insights and data discovery: “learn”
- Personal and interactive support: “engage”
- Insight-driven knowledge
- Industry-specific virtual assistants
‘Cognitive businesses’ deploy systems capable of enhancing digital intelligence exponentially. These systems:
- Understand imagery, language and other unstructured data as humans do
- Reason—grasping underlying concepts, forming hypotheses, and inferring and extracting ideas
- Learn with each data point, interaction and outcome, developing and sharpening expertise. They never stop learning
- Interact with humans in a natural way, able to see, talk, and hear
Certain insurance processes are a natural fit for cognitive augmentation:
- Sales & Distribution
- Risk Selection & Pricing
- Policy Admin & Servicing
- Finance, Corporate & Shared Services
Where is cognitive computing being used currently in insurance?
- Improved Customer Engagement:
- Understanding customer wants and needs
- Empowering advisors by augmenting insurance expertise
- Interacting with natural language
- Actionable Insights:
- Facilitating new products and services
- Enabling sophisticated pattern recognition
- Leveraging untapped data sources
- Enterprise Transformation:
- Extracting best practices and improving guidelines
- Automating & augmenting knowledge-based insurance processes
- Managing regulatory environments
Specific use cases in virtual advisory, predictive information for underwriting, and regulatory compliance are provided.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsMany—if not most—insurers have hit a wall on productivity gains with existing people and systems. It’s no surprise that insurer spending on cognitive technologies is expected to grow 50% annually through 2021 (Deloitte). We’ll see a significant uptick in particularly RPA this year (the automation of mundane tasks), followed by cognitive interaction (machine learning), and cognitive insights (algorithms trained on data).
From a US perspective, 2.6 million people work in the US insurance industry, with 400,000 expected to retire by 2020. What will replace them? New ‘white collar’ workers, or a growing ‘no collar’ workforce? We’re placing our bets on the latter.
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