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Navigating the AI revolution in insurance: Insights from Tom Wilde and Naveen Dhar

January 24, 2024 | Artificial Intelligence, Insurance

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AI and machine learning are currently driving a significant transformation in the insurance industry. In a recent speaking session at ITC Vegas, Tom Wilde, CEO of Indico Data, and Naveen Dhar, Director of Insurance Worldwide at Microsoft, delve into the evolving role of AI in this sector. They discuss the challenges, advancements, and the pivotal role of AI in reshaping fundamental insurance processes and infrastructure.

Indico Data and Microsoft are at the forefront of integrating AI solutions into the insurance industry, addressing complex challenges and driving efficiency. This session provides a comprehensive overview of the ways that AI and machine learning are changing the landscape of insurance, from how enterprises can use them to process massive amounts of messy data to the reality that generative AI needs clearer regulations.

Listen to the full speaking session here: Automating the submissions intake process with AI to drive better decisions and better outcomes


Overcoming data processing challenges


One of the primary challenges in the insurance industry is managing and processing large volumes of data. Wilde and Dhar highlight the difficulties insurers face with mixed structured and unstructured data, including sheer amount and variety, prioritization of the data, and the inflexibility of current systems and infrastructure. These challenges often hinder the efficient processing of applications in property casualty, reinsurance, and commercial lines. The adoption of AI and machine learning provides a solution to these challenges, offering ways to effectively manage and process this complex data.


AI: A catalyst for efficiency and prioritization


During the session, Wilde and Dhar discuss the significant impact of AI in prioritizing and processing insurance applications. Many insurance companies struggle with managing the sheer volume of applications, often unable to process all submissions or identify the most profitable ones. AI and large language models (LLMs) are seen as game-changers, capable of automating data extraction and processing. 

These models can be trained on company-specific procedures and workflows—and can accomplish them with far lower error rates and much faster speeds than humans can. This not only streamlines the data intake process but also brings efficiency and deeper insights, enabling insurers to make more informed decisions.

Related content: And that’s a wrap! Indico Data’s 2023 in review


Addressing AI implementation concerns


All this being said, despite the promising benefits of AI, there are valid concerns around its implementation, particularly regarding traceability and auditability. Wild and Dhar emphasize the need for AI-driven processes to be transparent and explainable. One must be able to trace back both where the information AI is using for a decision came from and why the model arrived at the decision that it did. Otherwise, there remain too many unknowns, which can lead to regulatory concerns and reduced trust among users and stakeholders—especially in an industry like insurance. 

In the end, without some level of regulation and clear guidelines for sustainable progress, AI could speed out of control quickly. The two speakers advocate for a “safe, secure, and scalable” approach to AI usage, ensuring trustworthiness, data privacy protection, and efficient scalability. Cost effective AI solutions that protect individuals’ information but also clearly “show their work”, so to say, will be the key moving forward.


The future of insurance with AI: From data to decision era


The conversation concludes with a forward-looking perspective, suggesting that the insurance industry is transitioning from a data-focused era to a decision-focused era. Here, the ability to make informed and timely decisions using AI and machine learning is becoming a new competitive edge. The concept of AI as a “Co-Pilot” is also discussed, portraying AI as an assistant to human professionals, enhancing productivity rather than replacing human roles. Wilde and Dhar also acknowledge Microsoft’s role in providing technology solutions and helping insurers navigate these changes.

Overall, the session offers valuable insights into the transformative potential of AI in the insurance industry. It addresses the need for balancing technological innovation with clearly defined rules and regulations, ensuring that digital transformations within the insurance industry (and beyond) are both worthwhile and sustainable.

Check out the full speaking session here.

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