Artificial intelligence (AI) dates back to the year 1950, when Alan Turing developed the Turing test to evaluate a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour that could be equivalated to those of humans. Since then, the field has exploded.
In businesses today, AI can be found in many forms including intelligent conversational chatbots. These bots are becoming increasingly popular, with over 30,000 chatbots (as of 2016) existing on various messaging interfaces. These chatbots cater to an audience of 4.1 billion users, most of whom are on these platforms every day.
So why does this matter for the insurance industry?
Using chatbots gives companies across insurance, financial services, sales and customer service the potential to save over $174 billion. This number not only showcases a huge opportunity, but also the sheer size of this market that firms can capitalize on.
This sentiment is one that is shared throughout the financial services industry. As Accenture reports, 79% of surveyed banks agree that AI will revolutionize the way that consumers gain their information and 76% believe that some sort of AI mechanism will become their primary point of communication within the next three years.
Current Industry Chatbots
Insurance firms across the globe have started to take advantage of this technology.
- Lemonade, the New York City-based property and casualty insurance company has already introduced two chatbots: Maya and Jim, both of whom tackle different problems. Maya’s job is to sell insurance to both homeowners and renters, while Jim’s job is to settle claims – which he has done in three seconds.
- The Singaporean PolicyPal has launched Kate, backed with technology from IBM Watson. Watson was given access to a database of more than 9,000 policies, and users are now able to buy and manage their policies through their mobile phones with Kate’s help.
Room for Growth
The emergence of these chatbots have undoubtedly elevated the customer experience, but these first-generation chatbots have also left room for growth. The majority of current chatbots are built for simple questions whose responses are guided by key words or sentences that a human still needs to continuously keep track of and update.
This gap leads to the next big leap in this technology: machine learning.
<< Read our Machine Learning Innovation Challenge Recap! >>
This is a step that financial institutions are already striving to reach today through extensive R&D. One of these institutions is Wells Fargo, where their innovation department is looking to develop technology that would give artificial intelligence not only the ability to understand emotion, but to also layer it into conversation when dealing with customers.
All in all, it’s clear that chatbots are already making waves in insurance. However, it’s also clear that there is enormous opportunity that is still untapped. If leveraged correctly, these friends that you create can help your business save time, money, and effort. This is why Cookhouse Lab is running a chatbot project soon! Stay tuned as we release full project details.
Still hungry? Subscribe now and stay tuned for Part 2 of our Chatbot Series, which will feature a personal interview from BOTFriends, a chatbot start-up from Germany!