Cognitive automation: Revolution at the speed of thought
By Ritesh Sarda, CIO, Sun Life Financial, Hong Kong
The industrial revolution, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, saw the automation of physical work to accelerate productivity and achieve non-linear growth. Now through our advancements in the areas of data analytics, robotics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), we are once again transforming and disrupting the way we interact with our clients by augmenting human capabilities through cognitive automation.
AI based cognitive automation can bring many opportunities to an industry and endless possibilities for organizations to redefine their customer value proposition and experience. Much of it is possible through machine learning—a paradigm shift from ‘programming’ to ‘training’ the machine to learn through artificial neural networks that can train themselves to recognize complex patterns.
This enables robots to deal with natural language, reasoning, and judgment, by establishing context and meaning to gain insights so they can perform beyond repetitive and regular rule based tasks. Humanoid robots with speech/object recognition and emotion sensing are able to encroach on activities that were previously assumed to require human judgment and experience.
Having operated in Asia for over 125 years, we at Sun Life Financial see huge potential for cognitive automation in the insurance industry to gain unprecedented client intelligence from our goldmine of historic data. This can be used to develop and offer more personalized products to our clients, who will also enjoy a greater ease of doing business with insurance providers. At the same time, we see the mass affluent and mass-market segments have become more comfortable with receiving financial advice from Robo- Advisors through rich, digital user interfaces. Therefore, it is critical to provide human financial advisors with deeper product insights and recommendations based on client demographics, behaviors and sentiments derived from cognitive automation.
Furthermore, clients are expecting proactive problem resolution and simplified interactions through conversational platforms like chatbots where they can talk to a company in the way they do with their family and friends. Insurance companies are using chatbots for tasks such as financial planning, product selection and filing claims.
In order to improve efficiencies and straight-through-processing of new business applications, insurers are leveraging augmented and automated underwriting using in-depth question answering techniques to help underwriters look for appropriate risk attributes and build simulation models for risk assessment.
These new technologies are emerging at a rapid pace. Embracing this change is essential for businesses that wish to survive and stay relevant—and those who turn this challenge into an opportunity can enjoy endless rewards.