What Will AI Change First?

Imagine a world in which bots scan a consumer’s social and digital profile to gather information and find trends and patterns.

It’s clear developments in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and other innovative technologies will have an impact on nearly every industry — including insurance and financial services. But what areas will be affected most in the near future, and how will they be affected? These are questions we explored with nearly 100 industry leaders during Denim Summit 2017 in Des Moines. When we posed the question, “What insurance process will be most affected by AI?” in a live poll, “underwriting” won with 39% of the responses. Following closely were “marketing and distribution” with 32% and “customer service” with 26%. Clearly, it’s not just one area that will be affected. Perhaps a better question is, “How will each area be affected?” Let’s take a look. Underwriting As author, speaker and futurist Blake Morgan writes in Forbes, AI has the potential to automate the entire underwriting process. Imagine a world in which bots scan a consumer’s social and digital profile to gather information and find trends and patterns. Someone who has a healthy lifestyle and steady job may be less likely to get into car accidents or rack up medical bills, which could lower insurance premiums. “AI can analyze data better than humans to more accurately predict each customer’s risk, thereby providing customers with the right amount of insurance and companies with protection from risky customers,” Morgan writes. See also: Strategist’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence   Marketing and distribution Hyper-personalization is the new norm in marketing and distribution. Brands are becoming dramatically more attuned to the needs and priorities of consumers and increasingly shaping their product offerings around rising lifestyle trends. Traditional blanket methods like cold calling no longer cut it in today’s uber-connected, digital age. AI can pull in consumer data to create a full profile that can be used to offer only relevant insurance products and remember a consumer’s preferences. Customer service According to a study by Oracle, nearly eight out of 10 businesses have already implemented or are planning to adopt AI as a customer service solution by 2020. There are two primary ways organizations are augmenting their customer service experiences with AI:
  • Front-end, AI-powered bots, or conversational computer programs that interact directly with a customer without human interaction.
  • AI-assisted human agents, or human customer service representatives who are supported by AI technology.
For at least the foreseeable future, chatbots won’t replace humans in customer service centers. They will, however, replace some of the tasks traditionally handled by people and, ultimately, enhance the experience for consumers. Customer service and experience expert Shep Hyken shares four reasons AI and chatbots are improving customer service in big ways:
  • Chatbots never sleep.
  • Chatbots won’t make you wait.
  • Chatbots personalize the customer experience.
  • Chatbots make friends and build relationships.
See also: Group Insurance: No Longer Overlooked   While AI’s value proposition may be clearer in some areas than others, it’s not hard to imagine a future in which nearly everything we do — in both business and in life — is somehow affected by AI.

Gregory Bailey

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Gregory Bailey

Gregory Bailey is president and CPO at Denim Social. He was licensed to sell insurance at the age of 20, continued as an agent in the industry for the next nine years and then stepped into the corporate world of insurance.


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