Allianz and the challenge of AI

By Alfred Bouchaud
Allianz, whose CEO has been Oliver Bäte since 2014, is headquartered in Munich and is one of the world’s largest financial services firm. Its main activities are related to insurance as well as asset management. If an insurer is aimed at covering risks, he also has to anticipate the risks as regards society and companies. In this way, artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the major future risks the heavyweight European insurance company identified. That is why the company published a reflexion called « The rise of artificial intelligence : future outlook and emerging risks ». Granted, AI can be seen as an opportunity for company to increase their cyber-security as well as reducing repetitive tasks. However, AI can also enable to analyse the flaws of organisations to implement large-scale attacks, which expose companies to unprecedent risks. But society will also be affected as exemplified by the development of autonomous objects such as vehicles. Indeed, the technology may happen to be defective, which could imply the civil responsability of the owner. Allianz also shows that AI will disrupt the insurance sector in itself. Insurance products are often complex and AI could help consumers to be aware of their insurance needs. Thus, the product recommendation is faster and more effective. Besides, unlike other industries, in the insurance sector customer interaction is quite rare, which make the understanding of customer preferences essential. AI can analyze customer information to provide accurate consumer profile, which is a boon to implement successful marketing campaigns. To conclude, through its reflexion, Allianz alerts to the harmful effects related to AI even though it puts forward some beneficial points. AI will modify our way of life as well as the functioning of firms including insurance companies.

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