AXA introduce 20 AI bots to save 18,000 hours of work a year


The Artificial Intelligence (AI) landscape continues to move incredibly quickly. That is probably not that surprising given its potential impact on the way we all live and work. Whilst it may be difficult to predict the speed that various countries and businesses will adopt AI, the McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that the technology “has the potential to deliver additional global economic activity of around $13 trillion by 2030, or about 16 percent higher cumulative GDP compared with today. This amounts to 1.2 percent additional GDP growth per year.”

No wonder then that in the past few weeks we have seen significant developments on an international level as governments across the world begin to get to grips with the opportunities and challenges that AI poses.

First, in April the EU issued guidelines for the ethical development of AI. The guidelines set out seven key requirements which include the need for AI systems to empower human beings and ensuring correct oversight, be transparent in their approach to data, and avoid unfair bias to ensure non-discrimination and fairness.

The second big step came a couple of weeks ago with the Financial Times describing the fact that forty two OECD countries had signed an agreement to support a global governance framework for AI as “a historic step”. The five principles that underpin the agreement are:

  • AI should benefit people and the planet by driving inclusive growth, sustainable development and well-being.
  • AI systems should be designed in a way that respects the rule of law, human rights, democratic values and diversity, and they should include appropriate safeguards – for example, enabling human intervention where necessary – to ensure a fair and just society.
  • There should be transparency and responsible disclosure around AI systems to ensure that people understand AI-based outcomes and can challenge them.
  • AI systems must function in a robust, secure and safe way throughout their life cycles and potential risks should be continually assessed and managed.
  • Organisations and individuals developing, deploying or operating AI systems should be held accountable for their proper functioning in line with the above principles.

Obviously, these values are broad and over-arching because they need to be flexible enough to cope with the pace of change. What they do give us, however, is clear guidance. Bearing these in mind as we pursue the economic prizes of AI will hopefully ensure that society as whole benefits in the long run.

At AXA, they have introduced twenty AI bots this year to help staff across the business with repetitive admin tasks, which will save our teams 18,000 hours of work a year. Harry, Bert and Lenny (yes, they all have names!) in the claims teams read customer correspondence and pair it with the right record, for example. This is something that usually takes our human staff around four minutes but Harry, for instance, can carry it out in less than 42 seconds. The huge added benefit is that this is freeing up really valuable time for people to do much more interesting, rewarding tasks.

The bots have been a great success and, as you would expect, AXA are looking what other areas of the business that AI can help. So, there is no doubt, going forward, that AI will have an increasing role to play but they absolutely agree that establishing the ethical foundation is a critical first step.

That’s why the advancements of the past few weeks have been particularly welcome. Joining together to understand how we, as a society, can best benefit from an emerging technology such as AI will provide the best opportunity for future success. AXA believe they now have a firm starting point to build on.


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