The upstart ChatGPT heralded an advent of conversational-AI platforms that can passably converse with humans based on a wide range of inputs. In addition to ChatGPT, which is made by the Microsoft-backed nonprofit OpenAI, other big tech companies are getting into the game with competing projects from Google (Bard) and Facebook (LLaMA).
The rise of AI to kitchen-table prominence raises a question: Are insurance companies, which have been transforming digitally for years, ready to invest further in large language models and turn their precious customer relationships over to a chatbot?
Because ChatGPT is free in addition to having a pay tier, experts foresee the technology being used in productivity tools helping people to write things like emails and job descriptions. However, it is a black box, which means its answers are not auditable and its inputs are opaque to readers.
In contrast, Jeff Tyler, head of product and data science engineer at Insurance Quantified, which provides some AI capabilities to the insurance industry, told Digital Insurance that IQ puts a large emphasis on explainability.
“Being able to link back to the source data, being able to show how we figured something out or how we extracted something and build confidence with our users. I want to be able to tell someone how I got that answer,” Tyler says. “An AI system doesn’t have accountability to truth so there is some verification validity to what we need to do with the outcomes. It’s extremely powerful, but it’s a tool. It’s not a replacement for everything a human can make a decision on, it will get better, and we’ve seen that.”
Perhaps an insurance-specific version of a generative-AI chatbot could emerge, Mannoochahr posited.
“I’m sure there’s a flavor of this that you’re going to see from carriers in some shape or form,” he said. “There is endless potential from a technology perspective.”