Liberty Mutual embraces AI, blockchain

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Industry disruptors such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain and autonomous technology present carriers with tools to adapt to consumer demand and have customer experiences comparable to that of Amazon and Google.

That's according to Cathleen Scerbo, Liberty Mutual’s VP of IT business operations, who spoke at Digital Insurance’s Women in Insurance Leadership Forum in Chicago.

Enterprises are now facing what Scerbo calls the latest major revolution in insurance, human empowerment through technology—a byproduct of policyholders being more technology savvy than ever. “We want to provide data-driven decisions within our walls and for our customers,” she said.

Scerbo believes insurers’ continued adoption of sophisticated artificial intelligence technologies and natural language processing will result in making relationships with customers more personal. According to the executive, AI implementation can be as simple as Netflix suggesting new shows based on data sets to IBM Watson making complex decisions for businesses. An example of Liberty Mutual’s efforts with AI is its partnership with Amazon on its Echo device, which it leverages to teach consumers about core products, how to file claims digitally install a smoke detector.

The Boston insurer is also testing blockchain software to develop a platform intended to create an audit trail and move money across the business faster, Scerbo says. Blockchain could eventually present carriers with the opportunity to pair the ledger technology with IoT to avoid fraud using connected-car sensors and smart home devices increasingly being adopted by consumers. Collected information would be sent to the blockchain, where it would be distributed to a slew of computers with no need for a middle man.

On the autonomous vehicle front, Liberty Mutual is encouraging customers to embrace autonomous and semi-autonomous technology. The company recently announced a partnership with Volvo giving policyholders who purchase vehicles with autonomous features discounts on premiums. The insurer also created a consortium with MIT Age Lab, Agero and Touchstone back in September 2015 to help understand driverless cars better.

“Will we be all autonomous in the future? Maybe not because many people enjoy driving,” she concluded. “The questions will become who is at fault for the accident, and who does the carrier insure.”

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Insurance technology Artificial intelligence Internet of things Blockchain Driverless Customer experience Liberty Mutual Amazon Google Women in Insurance Leadership