AI and machine learning are big buzzwords today – but it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to harnessing the technology within your business.
Increases in computer power, greater investments in algorithms, and growth in the availability of data are democratizing AI and putting ‘supercomputing’ ability in the hands of businesses, according to Celent.
In a new report looking specifically at the use of AI within the insurance sector, the consultancy firm found that new tools and the cloud mean more people than ever can create AI solutions, and insurers are leveraging this in their own projects.
“AI has been around for decades. But what’s happening at the minute is that there are a lot of useful things that are coming out of AI,” Craig Beattie, senior analyst at Celent, told Corporate Risk and Insurance.
Even just a few years ago, many AI tools were still used mostly in universities and required a comprehensive understanding of programming languages. Today, however, there are more opportunities for the ‘citizen’ data scientist – those without an extensive data science background.
While many large organizations today will have their own in-house AI teams, the opportunities for small and mid-sized firms have grown too.
“The great benefit for AI at the moment isn’t just in it giving you an insight and you saying, oh that’s interesting. It’s in automation. It’s in activities where a machine has an advantage over a human being and they can augment the process. Not necessarily replace the human, but certainly make the process better,” said Beattie.
There are some technologies that will be simpler for smaller firms to implement than AI and machine learning, and which could save weeks of man-hours per year.
“If you’re on a digital journey, or an automation journey, have a look at some of the cheaper, easier stuff right now… They are much more certain of a delivery, much easier to implement, and you need a lower level of understanding in order to implement those,” Beattie said.
However, for those that are already further down the line, AI could offer some serious benefits in automation and cost-cutting.
“I’ve talked to multiple startups in the insurtech area who have said, if we hadn’t been able to use AI to automate this part of the process, we wouldn’t have been able to scale,” said Beattie.