Disruptive Technology, Actuaries and the Rest of Us

Disruptive technology — defined as a new technology that unexpectedlyFAST FORWARD displaces the established one — will change most professions.

In the future, we will collaborate in the Cloud through mobile technology and intelligent interfaces while monitors track our vitals and aerobic activity. Big data will be fed into mega computers that will automate calculations and analysis. Insurance will be based more on the individual situations of people and companies.

Artificial intelligence is already disrupting the medical field when computers can more effectively diagnose than doctors. Lawyers’ efforts to find precedents are already becoming automated and (sigh) computers can produce basic news articles.

Actuaries are not immune, as I explain in my article, “Fast Forward: Emerging Technology and Actuarial Practice.”Published in the American Academy of Actuaries’ July/August issue of Contingencies, I believe it highlights disruptive technologies that will affect all of us both professionally and personally. I hope you will check out the article and enjoy seeing a glimpse into the future of the actuarial profession and the insurance industry.

In many ways, the article is a call to action for the actuarial profession, but it should also be a wake up call for the rest of us who also grow tired of the constant learning and adapting to technology that is necessary to maintain professional relevance.

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“…the article is a call to action for the actuarial profession, but it should also be a wake up call for the rest of us…”
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In summary, for actuaries to excel in the future, they will, both literally and symbolically, have to let go of their beloved Excel spreadsheets and other tools.

The fact is Excel is quite limited compared to what is becoming possible through technology and will likely go the way of the slide rule and calculator. Personal computers and laptops simply cannot hold the data or offer the processing power of GPGPU chips that come from the gaming graphics world, the article explains.

What do you think? Let the world know by commenting below.

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6 thoughts on “Disruptive Technology, Actuaries and the Rest of Us

  1. dmillerymd says:

    Very Interesting article and thanks for defining how you use the word “disruptive.” New technologies can be both a blessing and a curse. But as Bob Dylan said many moons ago “The Times Are A Changing. As far as technologies “disrupting” medicine there are now blood testing techniques that can give doctors and clinics immediate diagnostic results as opposed to hours or even days.

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