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UK government backs AI projects for insurance industry

15th February 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

The UK government has announced that it plans to invest in 40 artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics projects to boost productivity and improve customer service in the UK insurance, accountancy, and legal services industries.

Fintech image via George Washington UniversityThe government has pledged £13 million to support these collaborative industry and research projects and develop the next generation of professional services.

One of these projects, developed by Intelligent Voice Ltd, Strenuus Ltd. and the University of East London, will combine AI and voice recognition technology to detect and interpret emotion and linguistics to assess the credibility of insurance claims.

Insurance fraud cost the UK £3 billion in 2017, equating to £10,400 per fraudulent claim, and costing consumers an extra £50 per policy.

Another project is an analysis tool that looks at images collected by drone to assess flood-damaged areas, using a 3D image recognition system to evaluate flood extent and depth alongside impacts on buildings and infrastructure to help with insurance claim assessments.

Other examples include an online bot that uses AI to provide answers to online legal questions and software that analyses accounting data and suggests ways to cut expenditure.

The 40 projects form part of the Next Generation Services Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, a £20 million fund administered by UK Research and Innovation to support the development of AI and data technologies.

UK Business Secretary Greg Clark commented on the announcement: “Artificial intelligence and data are transforming industries across the world. We are combining our unique heritage in AI with our world beating professional services to put the UK at the forefront of these cutting-edge technologies and their application.”

“We want to ensure businesses and consumers benefit from the application of AI – from providing quicker access to legal advice for customers, to tackling fraudulent insurance claims, these projects illustrate our modern Industrial Strategy in action,” he continued.

“We’re investing record levels in research and development so that every part of the UK can benefit from the industries and high-skilled jobs of the future.”

Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, also stated: “The service industry around the world is being transformed by information technology. The Next Generation Services Challenge offers important opportunities for transformation of the legal, insurance and accountancy sectors across the UK.”

“Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund we are building on UK expertise in artificial intelligence and data science to deliver benefits that will be felt in the services sector and beyond,” he added.

The research and development projects will begin work from this month and could see initiatives rolled out in the industries by 2020/21.

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