MetLife's Baxter on 'third industrial revolution'

Keynote speaker Greg Baxter, Chief Digital Officer of Metlife spoke on how the third industrial revolution -- the digital one -- is changing the industry at Celent’s Innovation and Insight Day in New York.

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This revolution is shifting consumers’ interests demographically, with big chunks of potential customers looking for digital-first interactions, he explained. It comprises three major components:

  • Change in command: Psychographic analyses of behavioral preferences are being executed everyday in businesses, putting the customer at the center
  • Explosion of technology: For insurers, this means companies are moving from managing and reacting to predicting and preventing
  • New value on business models: Carriers are moving from vertical product-orientation to horizontal, marketplace-driven strategy

Consumers are one click away from better alternatives to benefit themselves, and the goal is to know the next steps, Baxter said. That’s where AI comes in. Currently, he said, insurers are using “perceptive AI,” leaning on machine sensors to determine the right decision. The future, though, is in “cognitive AI,” which can draw more personalized conclusions.

“Insurance has a purpose of managing risk, to protect people and to drive toward financial and health wellness, and that’s also our best interest for our company (MetLife) and what we aim to do using technology,” he said. “Soon technology will allow us to digitize the world, but decisions we make today will be enforced for decades. You need to learn enough so when change arrives you don't have to then adapt.”

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