May 20, 2019

Azur announces partnership with Logical Glue

Amber Donovan-Stevens
2 min
Together the two companies seek to use a combination of explainable artificial intelligence (XAI) and machine learning in order to improve underwriting inefficiencies.
Managing Digital Agent Azur announced that it will partner with Logical Glue in order to create and implement algorithms to improve risk...

Managing Digital Agent Azur announced that it will partner with Logical Glue in order to create and implement algorithms to improve risk analysis. This will in turn allow underwriters to focus on advanced risks and broker relationships.

Lara Korz, Chief Data Officer of Azur, says: “With the availability of ever more data and unlimited access to computing power via the cloud, XAI is going to become an even bigger a factor in the risk transfer process. It has taken some time for the insurance industry to enter the digital world, but technology is now influencing every aspect of this sector and will increasingly be used to create policies that are tailor-made for individual risks. Augmented underwriting gives firms the opportunity to make better decisions by comparing both assumptions and explanations. It was fantastic to work with Logical Glue to achieve this vision.”

The insurance industry has a reputation for inefficiency, largely through human error, as well as owning large bodies of data, but not fully utilising it. The partnership between Azur and Logical Glue will allow the implementation of this underwriting solution which centres around data, allowing for real-time pricing and risk management. Data will be stored in a core system, and then enriched by XAI at the back end to enable straight through processing and a better user experience.

Once a quote is requested, the client’s data is collected by the broker and measured against other variables, and fed into three algorithms. From this comes two scores: The likelihood to convert and the other on the propensity to claim. This has its obvious benefits as it retains the human understanding offered by the broker, and the algorithm removes any cognitive bias.

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Greg Healey, COO at Logical Glue comments: “It has been a rewarding experience to implement our machine learning system into Azur’s legacy portfolio. We firmly believe in Azur’s vision to streamline the insurance process for brokers and clients, and this new system will allow them to make better decisions in a shorter amount of time, with less hassle for all parties involved.

We’ll continue to consult and work closely with Azur to make sure the machine learning system is implemented fully and properly. Embracing digitisation in insurance is the only way to reduce the inefficiencies the sector has long been known for.”

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Jul 28, 2021

What is the metaverse and why is everyone talking about it?

metaverse
Facebook
Microsoft
VirtualReality
3 min
met averse
Facebook and Microsoft are among the companies talking about the metaverse. But what is it and why is everyone talking about it?

What is the metaverse?

Think of the metaverse as internet 2.0 (not to be confused with web 2.0, which we saw off in the 00s). It’s a catch-all term designed to incorporate virtual and augmented reality, social, the internet and, crucially, real life. Critics argue that it is being used to replace useful subsets of technology that are distinct entities in their own right. Proponents counter that the components are on course to merge into a single entity and that the move to a singular phrase is helpful to trammelling technology towards that goal. Rather than describing an air-intake filter, carburettor, piston chamber, cam drive and gearing system by their respective parts, you come up with a term for the collective – the internal combustion engine. So it is with the metaverse, or that’s the theory.

Where did the term ‘metaverse’ come from?

The metaverse is actually not new at all. The term comes from Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, where is was used to describe a VR successor to the internet. It’s actually a similar concept to William Gibson’s cyberspace (Burning Chrome, 1982) though since cyberspace has entered general usage to talk about the internet, an alternative was needed.

Who is talking about the metaverse and why?

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, in a virtual call with employees, said the company’s work would focus on products for communities, creators, commerce and virtual reality. “What I think is most interesting,” he said, “is how these themes will come together into a bigger idea. Our overarching goal across all of these initiatives is to help bring the metaverse to life.” He went on to describe it as an “embodied internet”.

Zuckerberg isn’t alone. In January, venture capitalist and writer Matthew Ball (who was previously head of strategy at Amazon Studios) penned an article on the characteristics of the metaverse. And Microsoft’s Satya Nadella mentioned the “enterprise metaverse” on a call in late July. A near 20-year-old term does not suddenly crop up among a handful of exalted tech names without becoming either a trend (or a source of derision).

Metaverse: trend or bust

It’s too early to say whether Silicon Valley is jumping the gun on the metaverse. It certainly doesn’t sound like the sort of phrase you can imagine explaining to your grandparents with a straight face or casually mentioning during conversation. But you could say the same of robotic process automation, which is big business. Whatever the status of the phrase, the theme – of tying together disparate, or at least separate, tiers and types of technology into a connected whole seems completely in line with industrial technological trends. Let’s hear it for the metaverse, and hope the phrase is used as sparingly as ‘cyberspace’.

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