Juliette Lockstone

Vice President, Insurance

Is 2023 the year the Underwriter steps aside for AI to take over?

We at CGI are privileged to have had a front-row seat to technology-driven innovation in financial services – all the way from SWIFT in 1970’s, through to Open Banking today. We have been at the centre of insurance rating and pricing, supporting Polaris for the last 25 years, and Ratabase is used by some of the most innovative insurers in the UK. 

Time and time again, we have witnessed that it is not the technology, but talented humans who skilfully apply the new technology to deliver better, faster, more effective outcomes for their customers and businesses. 

So, what do I think are the biggest technology trends that will shape Insurance in 2023? 


1.  AI 

ChatGPT (or Chat Generative Pre-training Transformer if you want to be formal) is in all the headlines.  It reached 1m users within 5 days – the fastest technology adoption ever! Yes, conversational AI has finally arrived in 2023 (okay, in Nov’22) and is causing mayhem with exam papers, forcing some universities to mandate pen and paper… AI is going to transform insurance, but in insurance we need narrow and accurate AI, rather than ChatGPT (which is a general purpose AI).

So far the jury is out, with it often delivering false or inaccurate answers in a very convincing language, or setting us up in a way in which we need to wade through lots of bland repetitive content. It will, however, be a technology to watch closely over this year considering how rapidly things are evolving.

In the meantime, insurers should be looking at the more narrow AI capabilities such as NLP (Natural Language Processing) based tools to extract structured data from unstructured documents, yet needs only 10-30 examples to deliver high accuracy results. We have been working with multiple partners within our ecosystem and we are seeing some great benefits.  


2. Earth observation 

OK, LauncherOne might not have made it first time up in January 2023, but low-orbit earth observation satellites are getting more ubiquitous and cheaper by the month. The SAR (synthetic aperture radar) satellites can see through clouds and at night and can monitor a single 5x5km area daily, detecting earth movement or water levels. Things get interesting when you link satellite data with drone imagery and IoT (Internet of Things) information from smart buildings; imagine being able to detect a dam movement before it breaks. 

CGI works with the European Space Agency and really understands how to get the best out of this type of data. We have even worked with clients to proactively detect subsidence in warehouse size glasshouses, and also the health of fish farms! This is a fast-changing environment, with many technology options available; but with Google IoT Core being retired this year, insurers need to ensure operational resilience is built into their use of earth observations. 


3. Cybersecurity 

Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are now commonplace, and no organisation is immune (including insurers and brokers themselves). The attacks will only intensify in 2023. The “white hats” are not falling behind in this arms race though.  Behavioural analytics, cyber threat intelligence, or network segmentation are some of the tools used by best CISOs. CGI provides security observation and infrastructure as a service not only to our insurance clients, but also to some of the most critical national infrastructure and sensitive government clients in the UK. 


4. Low-code 

Low-code development is going to become mainstream in 2023. By removing existing IT capacity bottlenecks, it will accelerate application modernisation step-by-step, delivering immediate value and empowering business practitioners alongside techies. To get the best out of these tools you still need to have a strategic architecture approach to create the right guiderails for business.Which is why we partner with low code platforms such as OutSystems, NetCall, Hyland and Instanda who all provide different flavours of low code tools to accelerate delivering new capabilities.


5. Work augmentation 

Finally, we see 2023 as the year of massive productivity gains. Take the role of an underwriter:  a smart underwriter will use a combination technologies to their advantage. Smart use of external data sources, machine learning, data extraction and intelligent automation will combine to empower underwriters to do more of what they want to do - underwrite! 

CGI’s new Underwriter Workbench, CGI Elements360 Workbench, is an example of how different capabilities can be brought together in a smart way to drive real business benefits. And no, AI is not going to replace the underwriter, but the underwriter who uses AI will replace the one who doesn’t! 

If you have any thoughts on my predictions for 2023, or want to share your own with me, please get in touch.

About this author


Juliette Lockstone

Vice President, Insurance

Juliette Lockstone is Vice President of CGI’s UK Insurance business, responsible for driving business transformational change through CGI’s products and services to CGI Insurance, broker and reinsurance customers. She also sits on CGI’s global Insurance Industry Growth Council, ensuring CGI optimise and utilise world class ...