|In human history, we have seen three major revolutions. Agricultural, industrial and communications revolutions, which includes computers and internet. Now we are standing at the cusp of the 4th revolution, which is artificial intelligence, beyond analogs and computers. What we are facing now is a whole new ball game that we have never seen before.
There are strong indications that by the end of the next decade, up to 70% of our P&C insurance sales, service, and claims processing will be handled by AI. Most of the call centres and major insurance companies are already in transition to adopt these smart technologies such a Watson (IBM) to provide fast, efficient and improved 24/7 customer experience. Day to day customer service & sales issues will be handled by chatbots. Many financial institutions and telecom companies are switching to bot technology as we speak, with some live human assistance called “cognitive care” approach.
Human and machine intelligence will join hands to offer a seamless & efficient customer service and sales experience, beyond our imagination. Customers will be in control of the service. Chatbots can keep track of all the conversations and customers will have the choice whether to finish it in real time or come back at another convenient time to continue the discussion. The ultimate convenience, no pressure, no time limits. Same goes for the insurance sales. Chatbots and AI completing the insurance applications and sales transactions. The change has already started, companies like Lemonade are offering insurance products using AI technology.
Claim service will be mostly done by chatbots with some human assistance in the background. Our current insurance education system lacks the vision to foresee the future and to make our insurance professionals and businesses ready for the big change. All the millennials entering the industry in different roles are not trained to face this emerging challenge. What will be their future role? How they will interact and work side by side with AI in the next 10-20 years from now? These are the important questions to ponder.
AI with Watson (IBM), Deepmind (Google), Alexa (Amazon) will take over most of the customer service, sales and marketing work, to offer a more efficient, and relatively inexpensive way to offer these services. Multiple virtual agents (chatbots) opened at the same time to help hundreds of customers instantly with little human intervention. This is not a distant future scenario, it’s real and happening right now in different industries around the world.
So the question is what we will be doing in the meantime, playing golf or watching hockey? What will be left for us to do? What will be the role of customer service agents, sales representatives, claim adjusters, and underwriters…?
The answer: to solve more complex issues, out of the box solutions, creative & critical thinking, strategic planning and execution. We will be offering care & empathy that AI can’t do. Resolving more advanced and complex issues that a machine intelligence fails to comprehend. We’ll be around, in the background, doing more important work to monitor, review and improve technologies and systems.
As Sir Richard Branson has rightly said “We must remember that we are the master of technology, it is not the master of us.”
We must be ready to accept and embrace the inevitable. Position our companies, businesses and jobs to adapt to this new revolution. There will be some job losses and role adjustments in certain areas especially in customer service, sales and call centre based operations. But at the same time, we have to adjust and adapt to this new reality. We have done this before in all other revolutions, we have to do this again.
Everyone has to be prepared, re-trained and ready to shake hands with our new friend, AI, in the years to come. Welcome to the future!
Ehsan’s pick of the week: This week, I picked the New York Times bestseller The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle for you. This book is a great read especially for millennials, fascinating research on human learning and skill development. I hope you will enjoy it!
Founder & President
Knowledge & Achievement Inc.