It’s no secret that the insurance industry is fundamentally changing thanks to innovations in Artificial Intelligence. With predictions for 2018 showing that insurance data will grow by 94%, 84% of which will be in unstructured documentation, technology is being introduced that is revolutionizing the industry in its entirety.
Taking inspiration from groundbreaking technologies like IoT, Big Data and especially AI, investments are at a peak for insurtech companies all over the world. In a recent report by Willis Towers Watson, since 2016, 36 percent more investment, or the equivalent of 2.3 Billion Dollars has been invested across 450 start-ups during the course of last year alone. AI solutions in the insurance sector are gaining popularity – and as a start-up or developer, it’s one of the most dynamic and promising business-areas to be active in.
Within the industry itself, insurers are dealing with increasing amounts of highly variable documents, including forms, emails and invoices, claims and policy comparisons that are all processed manually. But new technology from insurtech startups is digitally revolutionising the process of the management and administration of large amounts of documentation. For example, technology brought to market by omni:us allows insurers to extract, review and analyse data from arbitrary documents featuring structured and unstructured data to a much higher and accurate degree.
For insurers, there’s clearly still a strong dependence on people power to analyse information and make decisions in the industry. A number of insurers are seeing huge benefits working with AI to significantly reduce the time and cost spent on administrative tasks, as well as the countable risk of human error. Our solutions can read huge variations in document formats (emails, incident reports, invoices, etc.) even down to low quality scanned documents, faxes, and handwritten forms.
Whereas in the past, AI solutions have always been seen as a high-ticket investment in terms of costs and time, usually implemented for business IT projects, new solutions can be deployed within organisations with minimum disruption and within a matter of weeks, specifically with regards to claims management and policy extraction. As we continue to help businesses to innovate, the seamless integration into existing systems helps increase efficiency, and improve customer satisfaction.
Radical technology, like the solutions we offer at omni:us, are ‘trained’ using millions of pages and constantly increases its intelligence through an ongoing feedback loop, making it a fully scalable solution. Digitizing and automating these tasks frees up resources in the workforce, improving allocation of staff resources through automation, giving companies the chance to create new added value role in areas not previously considered and ultimately save money.
The race to be innovate in this area is really all about the technology itself and we continue to see a really healthy flow of successful AI companies beginning to make noise across the European market and we’re continuing to have very open conversations with insurers about how AI solutions can revolutionize processes, portfolios and workforces. We’ve also closed promising deals with several key players in the insurance and banking sectors over the last year, and finance is another industry that is ripe for change and disruption with this technology.
As the diverse needs of the consumer changes, financial services firms are being forced to design and develop new strategies to connect with their customers and discover the products and services that they require. With time, AI will empower workforces and give banks consumer insights to react and deliver appropriately with precise intelligence.
In terms of the future of the AI market, there’s a continuing trend of investment in services from a number of global players. Countries like China are investing in a governmental capacity and we’re also seeing a strong response from corporate players, like Google and Facebook, amongst others. Europe on the whole, including Germany, is financially a little behind the overall global development, however the market is a hot bed of development and it won’t be long before we see European and German initiatives beginning to shift focus more. Looking at the wider picture in Europe, key factors like funding, people, infrastructure and ecosystems all play a vital role too. The region is in very good shape for attracting some really bright talent, and it’s vital to highlight these critical resources in numerous leading research and educational institutions for future generations.
As more legacy businesses begin taking the appropriate steps into making investments in technology that close the gap in machine-to-machine information transfer and revolutionize business processes, more are open to cooperation with start-ups. We’re seeing a gaining momentum and are continuing to go from strength to strength to offer even more cutting-edge solutions and technology to deploy AI to enterprises.
One size certainly does not fit all with AI however, but we’re entering an age where insurance and innovation go hand in hand and that will be the case for the foreseeable. Although, there is of course a question mark above the thought that jobs and humans could be succeeded by machines, and the digital revolution might not create enough new vacancies to compensate for the diminished ones.
But with transformation comes opportunity, including the creation of undiscovered roles in various sectors and redeploying people to higher value work. New innovations also expose the potential to improve people’s quality of work/life balance, reducing the number of hours spent at our desks and making working hours much more flexible. Concepts like working remotely or working on a freelance basis are constantly increasing, and by many of us also preferred. Other sectors like retail, marketing and education will also continue to benefit dramatically from AI technology that’s being developed faster than it can be implemented.
And remember – this is not the first time we’ve been confronted with doubts about technology replacing human efforts. There’s always been elements of excitement and fear around any digital or industrial revolution, and these emotions are the driving force for human interaction. Evolution is based on this, and in the rapidly changing world around us, AI will only continue to help develop this instinctive ambition of growth, both for the individual and for humanity.
Sofie Quidenus-Wahlforss, CEO & Founder of omni:us
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