ILC ARTICLE

Tech and people not an either/or debate


Far from replacing people, new technologies shine an even sharper spotlight on the importance of people within insurance and turn up the emphasis on continuous training and development.

That was the message of a ‘people versus technology’ debate which took place at the Exclusive Motor Claims Conference, held in London recently.

The Human Machine Interface’ saw Crescens George, CEO of Wiser Academy and Manjit Rana, GM Insurance, UK, EMEA & APAC, Clearspeed discuss the future of people and technology in the insurance sector, and both agreed that it was not an either/or debate.

“You can’t have one without the other,” said Crescens, who founded Wiser Academy as a dedicated training provider for the insurance sector. “Technology is good at the mundane processes that humans don’t want to do, but insurance is often an emotional experience and technology won’t in our lifetime be able to provide that level of interaction. It works best when it augments what humans do, but it can’t do everything. There will always be times when humans add more value so you have to continue to invest in people.”

Manjit agreed. He said, “Technology can replace so many jobs, but the jobs it can’t replace are those that require human to human interaction and human empathy. Insurance relies on those roles, so investment in technology and people should go hand in hand. We need to equip the right people with the right knowledge, skills and behaviours.”

Evolution

However, as technology evolves, those skills and behaviours are changing too and Manjit urged the sector to get a better understanding of what insurers might want in their workforce in the coming years.

He said, “In the future, do we want to attract someone with actuarial skills or cyber psychology? People wouldn’t even have thought you can study cyber psychology five years ago, but that is a massive skill this industry could benefit from. We need to start engaging with these graduates and influencing what students are learning or we won’t have the skills we need to bring into our industry in the future.”

Potential

AI is another technology that, while not new, has not come close to realising its potential. Its influence on all businesses and business processes will continue to evolve, and Crescens agreed that managers need to urgently address how roles will be affected in the near future.

He said, “We tend to focus on skills that we need now. But just as there are new emerging risks, there are also emerging skills and attitudes that we need to develop to cater to future demands. AI will require a whole range of new skills, like prompt writing, and we need to spend a bit more time thinking about skills that are ‘in progress’ and ‘in anticipation’.

“We don’t need to think about transactional jobs. They will be automated. But the jobs that remain will be complex, they will require problem solving and critical thinking, so we’ll need people who are highly educated to do them.”

The Exclusive Motor Claims Conference was created in partnership with ILC’s Motor Corporate Partners: Activate Group, AkzoNobel, Autoglass, BHR Assist, CAPS, Carpenters Group, Copart, DAC Beachcroft, e2e, Entegral, Enterprise, Gemini ARC, GT Motive, Innovation Group, Kennedys, S&G Response, Solera Audatex, Synetiq and Thingco, and sponsored by headline partner Enterprise along with sponsors BHR Assist, Clearspeed, EDAM Group, LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Wiser Academy.

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