Setting the stage for systems of intelligence
Charles Dugas Charles Dugas
April 12 4 min

Setting the stage for systems of intelligence

Q&A: Systems of artificial intelligence in the insurance industry

On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, Charles Dugas, PhD, Insurance AI Lead at Element AI will present the keynote address at the CSIO 2019 Members’ Meeting. In preparation for his keynote address -- titled AI: Setting the Stage for Systems of Intelligence -- Charles provides some insights into how insurance companies can develop and implement a strategic roadmap for benefitting from AI capabilities across their organizations.

Q: The title of your presentation is “Setting the Stage for Systems of Intelligence”, can you please explain this title?

Charles Dugas: Systems by which customers and other parties communicate are called systems of engagement. Systems that collect and store this information are called systems of record. A system of intelligence sits between the two and uses AI to process incoming information and support decision-making in different departments across the company.

Q: What do you want the attendees at this year’s CSIO Keynote session to learn and take away?

CD:  Insurers have various systems of record for underwriting, claims, billing, CRM, etc. Setting up an AI for each of these individual systems of record creates AI silos across the company, which should be avoided the same way we avoid setting up data silos. In order to provide decision support that accounts for a rich context, AI must be connected to these multiple systems so that it can connect the dots across various areas of the company. That is the essence of a system of intelligence.

Q: What is your take on how the insurance industry is embracing the opportunities and adoption of AI, and what may be holding the industry back?

CD: By now, everyone has heard about AI and awareness has reached the executive boardroom. Insurers know they need to adopt AI but they’re confronted with the difficulty of moving from isolated use cases to a holistic approach that is both efficient and scalable. Many AI implementations will require that the AI interacts with employees and learns from them. This feedback loop mechanism is a non-trivial aspect of AI software, and it’s here that systems of intelligence come into play.

Q: What are some themes and discussions that you see being addressed at the CSIO 2019 Members’ Meeting?

CD: CSIO does an important job in defining a common data language for the insurance industry and, as we know, AI is about understanding data. Data standards such as those provided by CSIO are a key enabler in building AI models that understand the insurance language and provide an accelerated means of interoperability in an insurance environment.

Q: How will combined data standards with AI help insurance brokers realize better efficiency?

CD: This will help streamline some of their operations and support their employees in making a range of decisions and recommendations.

Q: There is the perception that AI will be a threat to jobs in the insurance industry, and could lead to a big reduction in the workforce. What do you say to this?

CD: It is a common concern, but I think AI will bring about a reduction in certain mundane, repetitive tasks - so the workforce can focus on tasks that require a ‘human touch’ and judgement in complex or unusual situations. This will allow companies to free up their workforce to spend more time providing better customer service where it is most needed.

Q: Is AI a luxury of larger carriers and brokerage firms, or is it possible for smaller firms to adopt AI?

CD: It is entirely possible for smaller insurance carriers to adopt AI. This is possible through the democratization of AI via off-the-shelf AI products which lighten or remove the dependency of having AI expertise internally. Larger firms with their own in-house data science teams will be able to customize AI models, but most companies can still realize great benefits and insights from AI to impact their speed, accuracy, and decision support.


2019 CSIO Members’ Meeting & Reception Details

Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2019  

Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm  

Location: Shangri-La Hotel 188 University Avenue, Toronto  

Registration is complimentary for CSIO members. View full event details and RSVP here.