I recently had the opportunity to sit down with our Chief Technology Officer, Colin Toal, to ask him ten frequently asked questions about machine learning, natural language processing, and the “AI Learning Effect” in commercial insurance. These are questions we get asked quite often by insurance professionals who are looking to implement AI-driven solutions. Colin shared his insights into how the AI learning effect works, human involvement in AI-enabled processes, system requirements, and the value delivered to commercial insurance companies.
Colin, please share with us your definition of the AI Learning Effect.
The AI Learning Effect is a term I learned from one of our board members. It describes a system that becomes more valuable with usage. In the simplest form of machine learning, you start with two "loops". The first loop occurs with customers using the machine learning (ML) based system by asking it to complete some useful task, and in return getting the benefit of that task being done more automatically. The second loop (the most common use case of supervised learning), is a 'supervisor' – a part of the system (usually another person) that identifies the patterns or examples that the system does not know how to handle yet and “teaches” the system the correct way to respond to it. Over some period of usage, the system learns new patterns and capabilities from these loops, and the result is that it becomes more useful and appealing to more customers – and this is when the Learning Effect kicks in.
Tesla Motors' self-driving features are a great example. Each Tesla car is a data collector – and every time someone drives a Tesla, it sends valuable data about how the car was driven back to Tesla's computing cloud. That data is analyzed and labeled by complex processes that help the algorithms in Tesla's cars drive more accurately. More people want a Tesla because it drives itself, and so more people buy them for that benefit and each new driver adds more training data. Each new Tesla owner gets the benefit of a self-driving feature that has been trained by the millions of miles driven by every previous Tesla owner. That's the AI Learning Effect.