Can we dream of a 100% virtual agent

What technology can do

As we know, insurance contracts are complex and written in language that is hermetic for many. No technology can currently summarize the content of the contract – which often takes up dozens of pages – in a clear and adequate way.

That’s not to say technology can’t help. “There are tasks that can be automated so that the technology supports the human,” explains David Beauchemin.

Already there is the chatbot — or conversational agent — which allows dialogue with a user. The tool can help, for example, to explain certain technical terms such as the deductible or an endorsement.

There are also automatic summarizing tools that can squeeze out the gist of a multi-page document into a page or two. Document simplification tools can also be useful. In a simpler vocabulary and shorter sentences, they make it possible to popularize the information.

“To apply them to the field of insurance, however, requires significant technological development,” emphasizes David Beauchemin. There could be some form of customization that would allow the customer to specify the level of explanation and language they prefer. »

Being able to deliver the information live, when the user is online, would be a great asset for the insurer. This would undeniably create a factor wow !according to the expert.

Technological limits

The main obstacle to getting there: access to data. They are difficult to obtain in addition to being voluminous, which leads to a complexification of technological processes.

“You have to make sure that the machine doesn’t say nonsense so that the insured ends up with coverage of $50,000 instead of $1 million. We must guarantee quality assurance of the information that is transmitted,” explains David Beauchemin.

There is also the question of dealing with a robot rather than a human which can be off-putting. We are still a long way from being able to humanize artificial agents even if they are destined to become more present in our daily lives.

Furthermore, David Beauchemin is currently working with Beneva to create an automatic unsupervised summary generation tool. “This is a first approach to text simplification, the most complex to do”, he specifies.

“To fully automate the explanation of insurance contracts is still a dream,” concludes David Beauchemin. It’s hard to justify the investment. What is more within our reach is the development of tools that will deliver information directly while the user is in the process of purchasing insurance. »

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