Insurance products born from ‘fascinating melding’ of IoT and AI have bright future

Nay-sayers are going to be at a disadvantage – says expert

Insurance products born from ‘fascinating melding’ of IoT and AI have bright future


By Bethan Moorcraft

“OK Google – what’s artificial intelligence (AI) going to look like in 2018?”

While your home smart sensor or smart phone might not have a precise answer to that question, it will certainly take note of the fact that you asked it.

Insurers across North America have been investing heavily in the Internet of Things (IoT), embracing connected devices like home smart sensors, wearables, and autonomous vehicles, in order to generate data for machine learning and boost cognitive services to improve customer service.

Exciting times lie ahead in 2018 and beyond with regards to the intersection between IoT and AI, according to Jodie Wallis, managing director for artificial intelligence in Canada, at Accenture.  

“Soon, all of the data that has been collected over the past couple of years by IoT sensors will start to fuel innovation in AI,” she told Insurance Business. “This data will enable AI to provide more personalization of products and services based on what the connected sensors are seeing. It could also improve AI’s real-time response to customer needs and personalized advice. 

“The melding of IoT and AI is truly fascinating. We’re already collecting a load of information from connected devices and making small actions, but once we have an entire corpus of information that has been collected by sensors – then we can really start doing some interesting things.”

One of the applications of AI is to use it to boost product innovation in the insurance industry – something Accenture calls “innovation diffusion.” Its capabilities with machine learning, deep learning and reinforcement learning enables AI tools to personalize insurance products and services based on customer-unique situations in real time.

Like with any technological innovation, there are some nay-sayers in the insurance industry. Some look at the extraordinary capabilities of AI as a threat to the distribution system, but Wallis argues the contrary.

“It’s never going to be the case that brokers in any industry, including insurance, are going to be replaced by AI,” she said. “The brokers who understand how to use AI to get better at their job or to focus more of their time on things that really matter to customers – they are the people who are going to be successful. I think brokers who push back against AI are going to be at a disadvantage.”

Related stories:
Time to go digital – but where do insurance brokers begin?
Insurers who take deepest dive in AI will be in best industry position


Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!