Panel Discussion

 

Last week, omni:us hosted its annual Machine Intelligence Summit, which proved once again to be a fascinating deep dive into all things AI and insurance-focused. We heard from leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and investors and welcomed over 400 delegates to the one-day event. It’s no exaggeration to say there was a wealth of information shared – so for those of you who couldn’t join us in Berlin (or for those who did, but would like a helpful summary) below are some of the key themes from the day, taken from the informative keynotes, panel sessions and talks, as well as during the all-important networking breaks.

 

How will artificial and human intelligence work together?

Of course, one of the central themes discussed throughout the day was the impact AI and machine learning is having on industries, both currently, and in the future. This included how organisations and individuals will deal with these advances and how certain job roles will be disrupted long-term. A dedicated panel on the ‘future of jobs’ led by Ewa A. Treitz, expert advisor with the European Commission looked at this subject in depth and explored how, with the right implementation, integrating AI and human intelligence in innovative ways could greatly improve productivity and efficiency within companies and help deploy people to higher value, more satisfying career roles.

The ethics of AI and questions of responsibility

As well as the huge benefits AI will bring to both companies and their employees, the risks were also discussed at length. This included discussion around what measures can be put in place to make sure AI is (and remains) ethical, who is making these vital decisions and how do we involve the wider society to help people understand the implications of this game-changing technologies. As leading data scientist Sebastian Meier pointed out, these technologies are altering the way we live our lives and, therefore, we all have a responsibility to ensure processes are regulated and controlled in the best ways possible.

 

How AI is helping to solve real-world practical problems?

Many of the speakers and the panellists reiterated the point that, in some way or another, every industry will be impacted by AI as this technology progresses and many will be altered beyond recognition. David Roldan, Jr. Head of Venture Capital and Startup Business Development at Google boiled the fundamentals down to what young AI companies should be focusing on right now: using data and AI to solve real world problems. In this vein, our very own Martin Micko from omni:us explained how the company is helping insurance businesses with the everyday but critical issue of processing huge amounts of arbitrary documents using AI and how this is revolutionising the way businesses work.

How can AI-driven insurtechs disrupt the industry and why more traditional businesses need to embrace these changes?

Following a break for lunch and further discussion, the afternoon talks looked in-depth at the role of AI within the insurance industry. Torsten Oletzky, Professor at the Insurance Institute, explained how larger, more traditional companies and insurtech startups must work together to create real change within the industry and ultimately improve customer experience and perception. In a separate keynote, Silke Genuit of Accenture identified two types of insurance business in the future: those who get on board with AI and survive and those who fall behind the curve.

 

Is Europe on track to produce world-class AI talent and businesses?

Another key topic of discussion which looked at the bigger picture globally, was how Europe can compete with the US and China and also develop ‘global champions’ and cutting edge AI businesses. This subject was discussed in detail on the engaging panel ‘Doing and transforming business with AI’ which included the leading entrepreneur Frank Thelen. The importance of both investment and education were highlighted as fundamental focus areas in supporting the European start-up ecosystem and the role governments must play in these measures was also highlighted. Nathan Benaich, Cofounder of London AI explained that as part of this, young companies have a responsibility ‘to be innovative and attract the best talent by building companies to scale-up and create real change (not just exit at the earliest opportunity)’.

 

As mentioned, this is just a brief overview of some of the emotive topics discussed throughout the day and over the next few weeks we will be exploring these in more depth, with further insights from our amazing agenda of speakers and panelists. Which leaves us to just say, thanks so much to all of you who attended, to our wonderful speakers and of course, our very own omni:us team for organising. We had a fantastic day and couldn’t have done it without you!