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By Stephen Barnham, Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer, Metlife Asia
With so many successful examples of AI already in play, it’s no surprise the industry is doubling down on this trend. It’s also opening the door to new digital-first entrants, looking to take off their vast their datasets to provide deeper insights on morbidity and mortality to efficiently and accurately price products. Concurrent to the explosion in AI applications across the sector, the continued expansion of cloud services has also given rise to a burgeoning community of startups focused on insurtech (insurance technology) that are building powerful AI tools to compete in niche areas like on-demand personal property insurance that offers "micro-duration” policies, or AI facial analytics to predict life events. Insurtechs now fill a vital role in the industry’s innovation ecosystem and like many larger industry incumbents, MetLife is determined to capture this opportunity. We have a holistic approach, bringing external orientation and internal efforts together to accelerate innovation and create tangible enterprise value. This includes strategic partnerships with leading tech companies and venture capital firms; collaborations with academic institutions like MIT; a USD $100m co-investment fund; and our Singapore-based innovation center, “LumenLab.” This is an industry truly on the verge of rapid transformation. What exciting twists and turns it will take over the next decade, remains to be seen, but for an industry that is very familiar with risk, the biggest risk we ourselves now face is complacency. The message is clear: it’s time to embrace the change and reimagine our business.