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The Impact of ChatGPT on the Insurance Industry

As large language models continue to be finessed, the insurance industry has a lot to gain from utilizing artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT.
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“With crust of graham, fine and sweet,/ we'll start our cheesecake treat./ Mix cream cheese with sugar please,/ and eggs to make the filling neat." That's no Shakespearethat's ChatGPT when Girish Modgil, vice president of automation and artificial intelligence accelerator and enterprise data at Travelers, asked the technology to write a cheesecake recipe in iambic pentameter during a Travelers Institute webinar in March.

ChatGPT—in which GPT stands for “generative pretrained transformer"—is a popular chatbot from OpenAI and is estimated to be the fastest-growing consumer application in history, according to analytics firm Similarweb. In short, it's an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that provides conversational answers to almost any query.

The program is the latest iteration of a large language model, Modgil explained. A large language model refers to “the large amount of data that is used to train them and the number of layers in the network." Modgil said.

That's culminated in programs like ChatGPT that can spit out casual answers to questions, college essays and even a Shakespearean cheesecake poem. It's almost like instant messaging with a very smart friend.

Except, no matter how confident that friend sounds, it's still capable of mistakes. Mano Mannoochahr, chief data and analytics officer at Travelers, demonstrated a ChatGPT conversation in which he asked the program to answer queries as an insurance agent. “I put in, 'Hey, what are some misunderstood coverages in auto insurance?' It comes up with quite a comprehensive answer: some folks may struggle with what comprehensive coverage is, or what collision coverage is or not … but in the collision coverage section, it has a line saying it only applies if you are at fault. And we know factually that's wrong."

The webinar pointed out other dangers of relying on ChatGPT—including hallucination. “That basically means it's making up facts that don't exist," Mannoochahr warned. “That's a word of caution we need to be cognizant of."

To be fair, ChatGPT is still a technological toddler. As companies attempt to rapidly capitalize on the development and its underlying innovations, “we are already observing incremental improvements," Modgil said.

As large language models continue to be finessed, the insurance industry has a lot to gain. “We're seeing more and more examples of new capabilities that do rely on AI," Mannoochahr said, citing models that have been trained on millions of high-resolution images of properties that help determine claims damage or inform underwriting approaches.

Currently, ChatGPT's authority only extends to cheesecake poetry, the webinar warned, also cautioning businesses about plugging sensitive information into the program.

However, as ChatGPT improves, it could also be useful for agencies as a smarter, more helpful version of a search engine.

“It can program computer code in 12 different languages," Mannoochahr said. “You can do that through Google if you are a computer person, but ChatGPT will actually give you working code. If you want to write a calculator app for a phone, I'll guarantee it will give you 70%-80% of the code that you can start with."

Additionally, ChatGPT can help with communication tasks from drafting social media posts to personalized welcome letters to job ads. “ChatGPT has seen millions of job descriptions," Mannoochahr said. “If you're looking to hire somebody and you want somebody to write a job description, try ChatGPT—it may spit out a really nice job description that you can just tweak."

AnneMarie McPherson Spears is IA news editor. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Digital Edition