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Artificial Intelligence – Friend or foe?

The world of technology has evolved over the last few years. First, we watched movies on television, now we stream in via the internet. In the same way, we are increasingly adapting to Artificial Intelligence (AI).

But what is AI? According to tech dictionaries, AI refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think and act like humans. Increasingly financial organisations are also adapting to this machine learning-based approach.

Ronald Richman, a South African actuary, with a special interest in machine learning agrees. In a recent media release of the Actuarial Society of South Africa, he shares that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the ability to significantly enhance products, simplify processes and reduce costs in financial services. He believes that investors and policyholders will increasingly choose financial products depending on the fintech savvy of the product providers.

Richman also points out that AI is already part of our everyday lives in the form of predictive text, image recognition and natural language processing. Image recognition, for example, is no longer just a “gimmick application”, says Richman. A number of innovative overseas life insurers have already launched policy application processes that required the applicant to upload only a selfie (a photograph of yourself). Through the process of AI, an estimate of the individual’s age, gender and body mass index (BMI) is generated to determine the appropriate premium for the cover requested.

“AI will by no means make the work done by professionals like actuaries, accountant and data analysts redundant since results produced by AI models still require human interpretation, particularly to ensure that the models are being used in an ethical manner, consistent with regulatory requirements and expectations”, he concludes.

Click here to read the Actuarial Society of South Africa’s media release.

More about the use of AI – Click here to read the MyBroadband article titled “How South African banks are using tech to improve their products”.

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