“Siri, play Warriors by Imagine Dragons.” “Alexa, re-order the 35-pound bag of Pro Plan dog food.”
We’ve all become accustomed to these types of interactions. It’s amazing to see just how far technology has come. Interacting with technology is no longer dealing with a screen with a long list of text questions that must be answered in order, and spelled correctly in order to return the desired result.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere and it allows people to interact with computers more the way we think rather a pre-programmed way the computer expects. Gartner predicts: “By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.” 1
This may lead you to think - Could my customers interact with me that way? What does that look like? Where do I even start? The possibilities make it seem daunting, but these features are becoming more accessible to all of us on a daily basis.
So, what exactly is AI? AI is defined many ways, but in general it is the broad concept that computers can carry out tasks in a manner which is more like humans. This means they can accept data in a variety of forms and are able to learn from history.
Looking at it in more detail, the first key component of AI is accepting data in a variety of forms. Microsoft calls this Natural Computer Interaction. It’s a collection of capabilities that allow applications to intelligently interpret the world and to naturally engage users. Some example of this are:
The other key aspect of AI is Machine Learning. Machine Learning is the science of getting computers to act without having to be specifically programmed. Machines learn by mining large volumes of data trying to identify previously unknown patterns leading to development of models that can predict future behavior. Every industry is looking for hidden insights about their customers that can be used to provide a better user experience. These models are at the heart of the recommendation engines that suggest the right product or service based on the customer’s needs and buying situation.
Now you might be thinking – So what should I do next? How do I get started implementing intelligent applications? Here are two recommendations for you to consider:
Insurers are already using these tools in interesting ways. Some are using chatbots to accept application information and provide the quote options to insureds online. Others are using computer vision and machine learning to handle automobile physical damage claims. The insured submits a photo of the vehicle damage and the system is able to prepare a damage estimate.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the capabilities these tools can provide. In this rapidly changing marketplace, the companies that embrace AI and strategically leverage its benefits will be the ones best positioned to succeed.
Mike Fagan has worked in Property and Casualty insurance and automation since 1988, including ten years with Cigna's Special Risk Facilities. Mike joined Instec in 1996 and works closely with Instec’s clients, and has delivered many of Instec’s new software releases, ensuring a smooth transition for clients having the prior release of the software. He received an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1995, specializing in Finance, and received a BS in Information and Decision Sciences from the University of Illinois.