In an August interview with Bloomberg, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella referenced a 1995 internal memo from the company’s then-CEO Bill Gates titled “The Internet Tidal Wave,” saying he believes the impact of artificial intelligence will be just as profound. And while experts say benefits await those who are brave enough to test the waters of AI, many insurance carriers still seem cautious about the risks.

Executive Summary

Talent and tech officers of P/C insurance operations spoke with CM Deputy Editor Elizabeth Blosfield about the benefits of AI for their companies' workforces and their own jobs. They discussed the fears that are holding some companies back and the best steps to guide human talent forward. Employment lawyer Holly Goodman also described risks for carriers as the use of AI tools becomes more common in human resources departments. Michael (Fitz) Fitzgerald, Insurance Industry Advisor for SAS Institute Inc., served as guest editor for this article and others featured in CM's Q1-2024 magazine, "Leading the AI-Powered Insurer."

“Those fears are real,” said Gordon Wintrob, co-founder and chief technology officer at Newfront. “It goes back to how difficult it is to change or to do things differently.”

Newfront is an insurance brokerage that markets itself as a modern business insurance company, and Wintrob said he sees AI as the next computing revolution.

“Mobile phones brought a wave of innovation. The movement from mainframe computing to the cloud was another breakthrough revolutionary change. I think AI is doing the same thing across the entire economy,” he said. “To think of it as this limited thing that’s only going to maybe impact a limited number of products or services is the wrong way to think about it.”

Wintrob believes insurers and brokers should be asking themselves, “How do we train and arm our employees to be able to take advantage of all this innovation and think of things through the AI lens?”

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