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Bringing Artificial Intelligence To Life

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Bringing Artificial Intelligence To Life

This article was previously published in Insurance Advocate. Credit: MSO and Sue C.

Quimby, CPCU, AU, CIC, CP/W, DAE

Artificial intelligence, or machine learning, can handle tasks that are too complicated or would be too time consuming for humans. From facial recognition on phones to personal assistants-the possibilities are endless. While the use of Al is still in its early stages, the number of applications are certainly growing.

Al is especially well-suited to certain tasks such as recognizing patterns or anomalies or making predictions based on past actions. Anomalies could be unusual credit card activity, sensor readouts indicating engine problems in an automobile, or temperature fluctuations in a restaurant freezer. Al can also be used to make predictions, such as future stock prices and which movies a person will like.

Machines using Al can operate 24/7 with no lunch breaks or holidays, in conditions under which humans would not be able to function. True Al structure has the ability to learn from past actions through the use of neural networks, a series of algorithms that mimic the activity and interconnected workings of the human brain.

Flood prevention is being attempted through the use of high-resolution aerial photographs that show the location of objects in relation to watersheds. The goal is to alert communities to areas where further development can harm the watershed’s ability to manage water runoff. Additional Al programs map forests and oceans to provide alerts of potential deforestation or declining health of coral reefs.

Insurance needs and products are becoming increasingly complex. Yet human intervention and decision-making is still important in the insurance purchasing process. A recent survey by NTT Data Consulting indicated that while 40 percent of consumers prefer to learn about insurance online or via a mobile app, 63 percent of respondents prefer to speak to a human when making insurance purchase decisions.

Al has been touted as a means to replace humans. It may be more correct to state that Al will improve how humans operate. Al can recognize faces or objects, spoken words, or speech patterns, but it is not perfect. Machines can certainly perform routine, simple tasks, like crunching numbers and analyzing data, faster than hominids can. However, Al “recognizes objects, but can’t explain what it sees. It can’t read a textbook and understand the questions in the back of the book;’ according to Oren Etzione, who oversees the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

It is often said that the computer is only as good as the programming and information that is entered into it. AI and machine learning systems are no different. Unlike Hal, in 2001: A Space Odyssey, machines are not yet taking over the world. However, in today’s world of 24/7 customer service and instant access to everything, the possibilities and practical applications of Al are endless. As use of Al expands to all areas of society, insurers must adapt to implications of its use, not only in their own operations, but those of their clients.

Glenn Insurance encourages you to practice safety to keep your home and family secure. Many insurance carriers offer discounts on homeowners’ policies for smart homes, using AI. Click here to learn more about homeowners’ policies.

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