ITC DIA Europe

Unleashing the Power of Generative AI to transform insurance

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Jan 8, 2024

After its release in November 2022, ChatGPT rapidly reached 1 million users in only 5 days and 100 million in less than two months. Similar to how smartphones transformed how we communicate, generative AI has the potential to radically transform how companies and customers interact. New opportunities for the insurance industry across the entire value chain.

Emanuele Colonnella, Innovation Manager at Generali, hosted a panel at ITC DIA Europe in Barcelona on developments and the impact of Generative AI. Together with Samyr Mezzour, Chief Venturing Officer at accelerator HITS (a company owned by Generali Switzerland), David Sütterle, Chief Digital & Innovation Officer Global L&H at insurer SCOR, Israel Olalla, Customer Engineer Manager at Google and Pranay Jain, CEO at startup Enterprise Bot, he discussed the power of Generative AI to transform insurance.

Emanuele: So first things first, what is Generative AI? Pranay, could you give us a definition?

Pranay: “I think Artificial Intelligence has been a very interesting topic for five years now. Artificial Intelligence, at the beginning, was like classical music: it had a score. As long as you followed the exact score, it was beautiful. But as soon as you gave it something different, it would break. Generative AI is more like jazz. You have a base, a model that’s learned something, but it creates new music. You’re creating a completely different note as you play along. So we can say that AI supports decision making and generative AI is all about generating new content from existing knowledge.”

Israel, is there some substance behind it? Is this going to change our societies or is it just the latest fad?

Israel: “I think Generative AI has the potential to change a lot of things. I see three main shifts that will happen in the future. One is around conversations: how we chat with chatbots is going to be far better than it was in the past. The second shift will be productivity, especially for people who work every day with computers, with Word and email, etcetera. The third change comes from open source, which has a lot of attraction. There have been a lot of new models coming, and those models bring a lot of innovation. So this is the reason Generative AI will be here to stay.”

Samyr, you work a lot with corporate innovation with startups and bringing those advanced technologies into the corporate world. What are the most interesting areas of opportunity that you have seen so far?

Samyr: “There are many opportunities out there but it’s too early to say which one brings the most value. However, I would like to discuss large language models (LLM). So LLMs came in November 2022, and all the insurers are exploring which use makes sense for their case. They’re working on external data and public data. For example, what we’ve done is index all the web pages. We have a chatbot: a Chat-GPT-enhanced chatbot. Whenever the customer is searching for insurance the traditional way on a webpage, he or she spends minutes and minutes to find what he or she wants. Now, the customer can have a conversation with the chatbot and the chatbot can provide insights as to which insurance is suitable for the customer. So these are the kind of use cases we are experimenting with and I think it’s the start of the journey.”

So, let’s work our way down the value chain. Starting with reinsurance, what are the most specific applications you see in your space, David?

David: “From a reinsurance perspective, the key source for us is working with the underlying data sources and making sure that we find the use cases. In terms of use cases, I think from an efficiency and accuracy perspective, think about a claims assessor. The claims assessor can probably handle two or three claims files a day. But if you have AI supporting the claims assessor in terms of reading the unstructured data, guiding you to where you should look from a risk assessment perspective, you can kind of do a triaging. It makes quite a difference in terms of finding out what are the big cases. However, you can’t just trust the models that are out there. You need to train the models with your own data. And there needs to be this human interaction to understand where the limitations are. You can’t just build the black box and then follow the rules. There must be an element of trust.”

Is there anything, in particular, you’ve seen in the insurance industry or in financial services industry that you feel is worth mentioning?

Pranay: “One of the new areas is knowledge management because insurance companies have a very large workforce and their knowledge is distributed in multiple places. And what we are seeing is that all that knowledge is getting unlocked with Generative AI capabilities. We’ve seen it across the channel almost in every process, from claims to risk assessment.”

David: “I think the value that we see is the data set. That’s where I think you can make the difference in terms of an insurance perspective. Ultimately, what we’re trying to achieve is more affordability, more accessibility and closing the protection gap. And in that aspect, I think the data set is key to leverage GenAI.”

Samyr: “My vision is that we will have LLMs everywhere. So Generali will have its own LLM. The road network will have an LLM. The doctor will have an LLM. I will have my own LLM and they will be able to talk to each other. This is how I see the future is advancing.”

Who is Generali?

Generali is one of the largest global insurance and asset management providers, present in over 50 countries in the world, with a total premium income of € 81.5 billion in 2022. With 82,000 employees serving 68 million customers, the Group has a leading position in Europe and a growing presence in Asia and Latin America.

At the heart of Generali’s strategy is its Lifetime Partner commitment to customers, achieved through innovative and personalised solutions, best-in-class customer experience and its digitalised global distribution capabilities. The Group has fully embedded sustainability into all strategic choices, to create value for all stakeholders while building a fairer and more resilient society.

Emanuele Colonnella, Innovation Manager at Generali
Samyr Mezzour, Chief Venturing Officer at HITS
Amsterdam 12-13 June

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