Blog Post

What do John, Paul, George, Ringo, and a lively dinner discussion about AI have in common?

Blog Post

Simha Sadasiva

CEO & Co-Founder
Ushur
in

Tucked within a busy month of business travel and board meetings, I had the opportunity to host an industry dinner in one of my favorite international cities — London.  

It was a shorter visit than I typically prefer to make, just three days, but I still managed to see an old friend for dinner and take in a few of the city’s historical gems. I visited the uniquely odd Lloyd’s of London building, with pipes and plumbing exposed all along the outside of its walls to ensure that no pesky leak or backup ever destroys the precious treasures within. I even got a backstage glimpse of rock n’ roll history — original accident insurance policies for all four Beatles and manager Brian Epstein were on display at the Lloyd's Lab. 

But the true highlight of the trip was the dinner itself, and the accompanying conversation. More than 20 healthcare and insurance executives attended to talk about tech’s hottest topic — AI — and its potential disruptive impact on both customer experience and digital transformation. 

I kicked off the discussion by briefly introducing a few key concepts, starting with the notion of “just-in-time” experiences like Amazon and how they’ve permanently changed consumer expectations. I talked about conversational automation, two-way engagements and interactions with customers, and how important it is to offer frictionless experiences that meet users on the communication channel of their choice without sacrificing experience fidelity. I provided first-hand insights into what it takes to deploy these types of experiences, and how it’s become possible in an increasingly no-code world to create them without infrastructural overhauls. 

Ringo blog post image

It was the Q&A that followed, however, that really drove the discussion to new heights. Healthcare and insurance are two highly regulated industries, both are a little behind the curve on digital transformation efforts as a result. Lack of awareness, fear and hyperbole are obstacles AI faces almost universally, and those worries are compounded for the not-so-early adopters who require infallible degrees of accuracy and precision from any technology they deploy. This level of caution often leads to great questions, and made for a wide-ranging dialogue that lasted nearly three hours. Everyone was incredibly engaged, insightful and thoughtful. There was commentary I expected, like skepticism around AI and whether the time is right to fully embrace its potential. And there were themes I hadn’t considered that appeared widespread among the group, like concerns around the potential misuse of AI to commit fraud. 

There was even higher level discussion around whether AI could lead to unemployment, or economic upheaval. From my perspective, any automation or efficiency that’s widely adopted will lead to some level of disruption and obsolete jobs. Historically, all give rise to new jobs as well. More importantly, they fill gaps in need that widen as the population grows. Consider the advances made in food production and farming during the 20th century. Without the level of automation we’ve adopted in agriculture and farming, the world’s 8 billion people would suffer from widespread, global famine beyond even the worst conditions we see today. 

Those same 8 billion people are being served by roughly 40 million knowledge workers. The scale we are asking them to achieve is impossible without automating a significant amount of the work. There is already a significant disparity between need and resources. Times change, and we must change with them. Perhaps there is no better proof than those insurance policies on display at Lloyd’s. Each Beatle’s insured policy amount was a measly 200,000 pounds. Can you imagine what it would cost to insure Sir Paul McCartney in 2023? And yet he continues to perform, well into his 80s, and I assume his accident insurance has only gotten more comprehensive! People may be resistant to change on the surface, but we adapt incredibly quickly to new conditions. 

To close, I want to offer my sincere thanks to all of those who attended the evening’s event, and who kept the conversation so lively well into the night. It is that level of passion, interest and genuine care that makes the industries we serve such an incredible resource on the path to innovation. Keep an eye out for more of these events in the future. We might be in your city soon.

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