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ITL FOCUS is a monthly initiative featuring topics related to innovation in risk management and insurance.

This month, we're focusing on Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

From the Editor: The Boundless Future for AI

When I think of the potential for artificial intelligence, I hark back to my days at the Wall Street Journal, taking notes in my home-brewed shorthand in one of those long, skinny notebooks you may have seen reporters carrying around in their suitcoat pockets. I still break out in a sweat when I recall interviewing the president of Mexico in the mid-'90s, in Spanish. I only knew how to take notes in English, so I had to translate on the fly, while still thinking about my line of questioning—and concentrating furiously so I would quote him so accurately that I wouldn't cause an international incident. 
While AI would have been zero help back then, today it's remarkable. I just record an interview on my phone, and AI transcribes the conservation in real time with remarkable accuracy. That's true even when I'm talking to someone with a heavy, non-American accent.
Even if I somehow resurrected my long-lost Spanish or French and conducted an interview in a foreign language today, the AI would transcribe it, and I could have Google Translate produce an English version in no time. Sure, there'd be issues to iron out, but that always happens in an interview anyway, and the AI links the text to the relevant spot in the recording, so I can easily decide for myself what was said.
No sweat required.
So, if you want to think about where AI can go from here, you can look back 25-plus years and see that the difference between then and now is, well, like magic, and then start to think about 10, 15 or 25 years from now.
Cheers, Paul

"When you ask for several years of claims data so you can train the AI, you find you're dealing with all kinds of messy issues. Unfortunately, nobody with decision authority thought about the kind of data you’d need in the future for AI...and it may be a while before they do."
Tom Warden, CLARA Analytics
Read the Full Interview

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