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AI trends to look out for in 2020

At a glance

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) has been hailed by some as a miracle fix with almost limitless potential
  • It is expected that AI technology will be mainstream for ‘white collar jobs’ by 2025, meaning it is only a matter of time before people are dealing with automation when dealing with professional services
  • We take a look at the AI trends to look out for as we move into 2020.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been hailed by some as a miracle fix with almost limitless potential – from changing the way we drive to boosting workplace productivity.

Professional services

Artificial intelligence could fundamentally alter the way people expect to access information and advice. According to Deloitte, it is expected that AI technology will be mainstream for ‘white collar jobs’ by 2025, meaning it is only a matter of time before people are dealing with automation when dealing with professional services.

This paves the way for virtual assistants to play a greater role in filtering and responding to queries and freeing up professionals’ time. The ability of AI programmes to make sense of vast quantities of data can also help to provide valuable insights – for example, helping financial services firms to identify investment opportunities, or helping insurance companies to detect possible fraud.

Construction

The construction sector is one which is considered to be very manual, however the current industrial revolution is ensuring it will not be long before AI makes significant inroads into the industry. Whilst potentially making a difference on a large scale, AI could also bring about more subtle changes to the sector, such as improving site safety or aiding claims defensibility.

If the widening skills gap in construction is to continue, the consequences would be felt across a number of sectors, as well as by those looking to purchase, or renovate, homes. One way the gap is being reduced, however, is by the use of technology and robots for repetitive tasks such as bricklaying.

SMEs

One way in which AI could prove useful to smaller businesses is by turning raw customer data into revenue-generating insights, for example:

  • Spotting correlations in product/sales trends and buyer behaviour
  • Identifying lucrative or emerging markets
  • Identifying individual customer preferences and personalising the customer experience

Due to budgets, larger companies tend to have the advantage when it comes to AI, however in London there has been significant backing for smaller companies looking to take on board automation and the advantages that come with it, including providing 24/7 customer support and personalised recommendations for customers.

Health and social care

Detecting and preventing illness and injury is an area where AI could have a significant impact.

There are multiple ways AI can aid people day-to-day with keeping fit and healthy. From fitness trackers, to step counters and heart rate monitors for exercise, people have never had such a wealth of knowledge available to them at the click of a button. Similarly, early detection of illnesses is aided by the use of AI, with mammogram results now being produced 30 times faster and with 99% accuracy, allowing those with negative results access to healthcare earlier than ever before.

Diagnoses, decision-making, treatments and research are just a few of the other areas in which AI is enhancing healthcare around the world.

Risks associated with artificial intelligence

While there are many advantages, there is also the potential for increasing risks that may be associated with AI. Challenges customers may want to consider include:

  • If you’re using a virtual assistant, who will monitor the quality of the information it gives out?
  • Could you be liable for bad advice given by a chat bot?
  • What would happen if the data your AI system feeds on is lost, stolen or manipulated?
  • How can you be sure this data is accurate and up-to-date?
  • Will reduced human interaction in your processes mean reduced oversight?
  • Is there a danger your will become over-reliant on AI, and you will lose the personal touch when dealing with customers?

To discuss any aspect of this article further, please speak with your local Zurich contact.

Image © Getty

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