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Saturday, March 09, 2019

The computer will see you now | Opinion - The Actuary

George Burton asks whether the hype around AI in healthcare is merited and if so, how could it affect the role of future actuaries?
Photo: The Actuary

Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly used to make healthcare decisions; no longer confined to the realms of The Matrix, but showing a genuine practical emergence in the world of medical diagnosis. It seems AI really can approximate conclusions in healthcare using cognition without direct human input. So, as actuaries of the future, should we all be prescribing a high dose of the Machine Learning chapter from CS2?

I class ‘AI and healthcare’ in the same category as ‘big data’ – exciting, but worthy of scepticism. These technologies have certainly provided benefits, such as reduced medical costs and an extended distribution of healthcare, to name a couple. I’m certainly not a medical professional, but these patient outcomes are difficult >to ignore.

Just because you can do something, though, doesn’t mean you should...

Actuaries have always worked with uncertain futures. Imagine a post-‘2019 curriculum’ world where the role of actuaries has changed and our skills are increasingly recognised across a wide range of fields. This may not be merely another permutation of existing actuarial fields, but a larger paradigm shift. I firmly believe actuaries are well positioned to navigate this commercially focused, judgment-led technological future. 

The only certainty is uncertainty. Considering the current pragmatic and ethical hurdles, it may be a little while before ‘the computer will see you now’.

Source: The Actuary