Will the Rise of AI Platforms Change the Game for Brokers?

OUR generation has had the privilege of bearing witness to some remarkable technological transformations throughout our lifetime which have had a fundamental impact on how we live, including how and what financial products we buy.

To begin with, this Article will look upon a trio of platform shifts that have had such an impact, before delving into the broader question of whether AI should rightfully be deemed yet another transformative platform shift in our midst and a powerful tool for Brokers.

Let us first look to financial intermediation and whether the advent of computers, mobile phones, and cloud computing proved to be a resounding net positive for Brokers.

When viewed through the prism of Economies of Scale and Scope, this question can be answered with a resounding yes.

Computer adoption across multiple industries, including insurance resulted in a substantial increase in productivity and profitability.

Moving on to the introduction of mobile phones, one cannot wonder what we did before mobile phones. Mobile phones have transformed communication, businesses and markets, and within the intermediation sector it is often the first stage in initiating the sale.

Cloud computing has proved more challenging in its fast adoption than computers or mobiles. Nevertheless, cloud is now unlocking significant benefits for businesses, including Brokers, ranging from cost savings, reduction of risk, to scalability and flexibility of products and services.

Building on inspiration from these past platform shifts, let us now analyse Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Large Language Models (LLMs) in particular, and their potential as the next transformative platform shift.

As we analyse AI as a platform shift, I would like to reflect on AI through the concept of first-design principles from a Brokers perspective.

In the past, training an AI model entailed significant costs and required substantial amounts of data, posing a formidable obstacle to advancing innovative use cases within the intermediation sector.

This paradigm has now been shifted with progressive LLMs such as ChatGPT by OpenAI, CoPilot by Microsoft and Bard by Google to name the most prominent ones, all of which make AI more accessible, easier to use and affordable to build and tailor AI solutions specific to your organisation’s needs.

In simple terms, one could view these tools as a trained “Digital Brain”. If presented with the opportunity to augment and empower our Employees and Business with higher levels of productivity, quality of output and intelligence – would it make sense to deprive the business of such opportunities? That is not to say that such use cases would not present heighted risks relating to security, data and operational resilience, but many of these risks can and will be managed into the future to within an organisation’s appetite.

Continuing with the example above, one can now empower every Employee in a Brokerage with a Digital Brain which augments the tasks being performed be it sales, marketing, finance, claims – increasing productivity, quality of output and reducing repetitive, mundane tasks today with the current models, which would free up Employees for more value added activities in relation to policyholder relationship management, quality of advice and oversight of the models.

The holistic value for the business lies in the compounding effect of each individual Digital Brain of each Employee, creating a cumulative Brain of the Business (Broker ABC Ltd.)

Another challenge and barrier to uptake in AI previously was the belief that by leveraging AI resources available businesses felt they were training other companies’ algorithms with their data which posed several risks, security and confidentiality issues from a business and consumer perspective.

With the recent breakthroughs, Brokers can now leverage existing LLMs, ChatGPT, Bard or CoPilot as a starting point, and personalise it with their own internal information to service their clients without compromising their data or intellectual property.

The following process certainly would lead to a fundamental platform shift for Brokers and the possibility to catch up on the perceived missed cloud opportunity by unlocking their data from current systems and creating bespoke personal Digital Brains for their businesses. digital DEVELOPMENTS Will the Rise of AI Platforms Change the Game for Brokers?

Here is an infographic developed by SwissRe which could be used as a starting point in guiding businesses to create a Digital Brain roadmap of initiatives to capture the opportunities or to defend against the threats on the horizon.

All platform shifts unravel like threads of hope and uncertainty which present both opportunities and risks. AI, like other platform shifts, poses it’s risks but could we now picture ourselves intermediating insurance businesses without a computer, mobile phone or cloud services?