According to the latest research by Accenture, insurers are at risk of missing considerable growth opportunities. However, the situation may change if chief executive officers take prompt measures to pivot their existing employees to work with AI, bring in new talent and redesign work.
The report compiled from two surveys, one involving 100 senior insurance executives and another of over 900 non-executive insurance workers, called for an increased effort to train the insurance workforce to work together with AI. In fact, the executives involved in the survey were convinced that only one in four of their workers is ready to work with artificial intelligence (AI). Even with the need for training, only 4% of insurers are looking forward to boosting their investment considerably, especially in reskilling programs in the coming three years.
Michael Costonis, the global head of Accenture’s Insurance practice, said that artificial intelligence (AI) could enhance growth, efficiency and innovation. However, he added that the hesitance by insurers to adequately reskill their workforce could impede its impact. Michael went ahead to say that executives require thinking about how they can redesign jobs, reskill their existing employees and bring in new talent. For him, building a work environment that is more-flexible could be the initial step to luring data scientists among other external experts.
About 61 percent of the surveyed executives said that they expect the future workforce to be a blend of machines and humans. Contrary to what people think that artificial intelligence (AI) will lead to the reduction of job opportunities, 67 percent of the surveyed insurance executives anticipate the technology to trigger a net increment in jobs within three years.
The Applied Intelligence Phase
According to the report, most insurers are yet to figure out how best they should apply artificial intelligence (AI) among other intelligent technologies in their organizations. As such, many of them are either training themselves or experimenting with artificial intelligence prototypes that can aid in improving their customer outcomes or efficiency. Nonetheless, only a few insurers have joined the crucial applied intelligence stage, which entails the implementation of human ingenuity and technology in all the critical parts of their business in a bid to achieve new forms of growth.
The report highlighted that reaching this stage calls for committed leadership, particularly at the C-suite level. Hence, preparing the insurance employees for this applied intelligence stage requires executives to reimagine work to gain a better understanding of how people and machines work together, teach their employees new skills to help them work alongside AI machines efficiently and pivot their workforce to areas that build new forms of value.
New Functions for Insurance Employees
The report by Accenture also revealed that the use of artificial intelligence (AI) would reconfigure most of the existing insurance jobs. It identified three groups of AI-powered jobs that may come up include sustainers, explainers and trainers.
Trainers will help computers as they learn, for instance by ensuring the algorithms execute their intended roles as required. The explainers will be involved in interpreting the outcomes of algorithms in improving accountability and transparency for their decisions. On the other hand, the sustainers will make sure that intelligent machines stick to their original purpose without compromising ethics.