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Ahead of the curve in generative AI

Generative AI, as a technology, caught many people off-guard with its power and flexibility. With the entire world scrambling to take full advantage of what generative AI can do, insurers must make surenot to lag behind in adoption and integration once again.

These were the sentiments of the panel at an event put together by the Singapore College of Insurance (SCI) and the Digital Insurer (TDI). “For insurers, in particular, those who adopted new technologies and scaled up financially outperformed the laggards by six times,” said SCI CEO Shalini Pavithran.

“There are definitely going to be changes and that is why we have to get ahead of it. How do we learn? How do we upskill ourselves? New roles are being introduced, such as prompt engineer, and we need to look into the practices of how we hire, how we measure these new skills. I think the way in which our business operates will change, and that will require change from the leadership and individuals,” she said.

Microsoft head of business development Zia Zaman also pointed out how no one really expected the scope of change that generative AI would bring to the world. “We have not had a major technology shift like this in quite some time, but it is seminal in terms of the way in which it might change the way we do tech, the way we work,” he said. “We got a preview of ChatGPT four months before it launched and we were blown away, and even then, we underestimated the degree to which it would light a fire in the industry.”

Currently, generative AI is estimated to be worth $4.4tn in terms of opportunity, and it can generate an incremental economic impact of about $6.6 to $8.8tn, according to figures from McKinsey. “Right now, 18% of enterprises have already implemented AI solutions in some form of the other, with another 25% looking at implementing within the next six months,” said Prudential Financial business and digital transformation leader Abhishek Rathi. “And this is about a technology which is just 17 months old. This has never been the case where our technology has caught the fancy of enterprises like no other.”

However, the world at large is still just scratching the surface of this technology, and to implement it in an enterprise would require a mandate from the CEO as part of a wider AI strategy, he said. “This technology, like no other, comes with risks and requires cross-functional support and a concerted enterprise-wide effort.”

“Everyone can play around with [generative AI] but there has to be a real alignment across the organisation in terms of how it’s used. Leaders have to learn about it, and we need to get them behind it to see the value and make them into the change agent going downwards to the rest of the company,” said Ms Pavithran.


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