The Link Between Life Insurance and Social Media

The Link Between Life Insurance and Social Media

Photo of outstretched palm of man in business suit appearing to hold an icon of a family of three under an umbrella, circled by icons from social media platforms.

Photo: Getty

Gen-Zers are known for being the generation most in touch with technology and the Internet, followed by Millennials. It’s common for members of these generations to adopt online services, specifically mobile-friendly/based ones such as social media platforms. It’s also likely that many have now reached the stage of considering buying a life insurance plan.

Of course, there are people of all ages who use social media and use life insurance – for instance, in South Africa, there are over 30 million active social media users.

This makes social media an endless source of unstructured data and therefore a highly useful tool for insurers given the insights they can gain from all this information, which can ultimately improve life insurance products. It is likely, therefore, that utilising social media will become a common part of the insurance sector.

How social media ties into life insurance

The amount of data social media platforms collect and store from their users is vast, to say the least. This gives those who utilise this data a segue into a person’s world in a sense – their preferences, behaviour, life events, where they live, and more.

These insights can be invaluable to service providers such as life insurers, who provide customers with products shaped specifically for them.

In short, social media provides what insurers need to gain insights about their customers, from where they spent their holidays to their hobbies to life events like getting married, divorced, or even laid off.

As creepy as it sounds to have your data being observed like this, companies including insurers do not have malicious intentions. Instead, they use the knowledge they gain about you to tailor their solutions to you as an individual. This enhances customer engagement and improves customer experience.

Advantages for insurers

This benefits not just the customer (policyholder) of course; developing tailored insurance products and engaging their customer base also benefits insurers and gives them a chance to grow as they gain and retain their users.

It could streamline and improve risk assessment and help with detecting fraud.

What’s more, having customers’ data from their social media can help them find potential opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

Policyholders can benefit from this

Not only can it improve customer experience, but insurers using your data can mean benefits in terms of getting lower premiums or payment breaks. F

For instance, an insurer may decide to give you a break if they see you have recently lost your job and if you qualify.

Insurers will rely more on AI in this approach

Artificial intelligence would be central to insurers’ use of social media to gather, analyse, and use data in insurance applications. There are many types of AI technologies designed for automated data collection, sorting, and analysis.

AI can, for example, scrape and mine data from social media profiles and use it to develop predictive models in no time, much faster than a human could. Risk assessment is also something where AI comes in useful, with there being tools like AI systems that can predict clients’ behaviours based on their data.

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2023 Forecast of Digital Tech Trends in Africa: 5 Predictions

2023 Forecast of Digital Tech Trends in Africa: 5 Predictions

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Image: Getty

January is marching along, but it’s still the beginning of 2023, and there’s a lot ahead for Africa’s digital technology space. Here we present a forecast of five digital tech trends we can expect to see in Africa this year.

Experts predict many interesting changes and progress in AI, IoT, cybersecurity, and more, so businesses should be prepared.

5 digital trends experts predict for Africa in 2023

A need to prepare for a rise in cryptojacking

A cyberattack that involves criminal hackers mining cryptocurrency through their targets’ computers, cryptojacking has become more prominent. The hacker does this in order to save using their own hardware and power by stealing that of their victims. Mining cryptocurrency is known to use a lot of space on hard drives and take up a lot of electricity.

Africa is especially at risk of suffering from these kinds of attacks, being the area of the world most targeted by cyber attackers. Nigeria is the foremost target, followed by South Africa and Kenya.

Businesses, including both SMEs and tech corporations, will therefore need to switch up their cybersecurity and stay on top of best practices for staying safe – currently, many African countries lag behind when it comes to being prepared for big cyberattacks. A 2022 survey even found out that, shockingly, 90% of African businesses that responded stated they lacked proper practices in cybersecurity.

Continuing use of Generative Artificial Intelligence

Africa will continue to use Generative AI, (AI technology based on machine algorithms that generate new content, like ChatGPT and Dall-E) we will keep seeing it advance. We will particularly see it used to improve chatbots.

Managing Director of Microsoft Africa Development Centre Catherine Muraga says Generative AI will speed up innovation by presenting us with creative ideas more quickly than if we were to come up with them ourselves. She also says there are practically endless possibilities for how this technology could be applied to the workplace.

Capitalising on data will be a priority

Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and companies will be more focused on making the most of data to drive their businesses, something that many organisations have been struggling to do due to having such vast stores of data they collect and then must sift through.

Taking full advantage of data means companies can use it to inform their decisions and make better ones; they can use it to make their business perform better by creating improved strategies and customer experiences informed by data-driven insights; and they can profit from it.

How will companies be able to capitalise on data better? By placing emphasis on investment in business intelligence and data analytics.

It is predicted that enterprises will be using predictive data analytics to create strong business strategies, exploring how to get to the point of using data to make operational decisions more quickly, and making sure their data is compliant and reliable.

Furthermore, this relates to another expert’s prediction that we will see a rise in big data use.

More widespread use of IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is said to have reached a more mature stage to the extent that many more industries are applying it in their operations.

Although it is not going to be the norm or common in sectors in Africa for a while, fields like security, agriculture, and maintenance will see more usage of IoT. This includes security cameras that are AI-operated, precision agriculture, and predictive maintenance within factories.

As well as this, 5G will continue to be adopted in more areas and open up more possibilities for how IoT could progress.

Cloud-native software development will be king

Cloud-native software development will be more widely adopted by African companies in 2023, meaning that there will also be a need for skills that support this – namely, cloud engineering and architecture will be skills that software developers will need to possess. This means that software dev teams will be multidisciplinary.

A form of software that enhances DevOps (a methodology that brings together and uses software development and IT operations to help develop software more rapidly), cloud-native software development will speed up software development even more.

Software devs will likewise be expected to quickly develop and roll out new software while also performing quality and security checks.

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5 Jobs That Are Safe From AI

5 Jobs That Are Safe From AI

A groundbreaking conversational AI software, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has reignited worries that AI poses a threat to people’s jobs and will ultimately replace human workers in most industries and roles.

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Image: Pexels

ChatGPT, an extremely advanced chatbot based on machine learning technology that works off a vast database, shows that AI technology continues to progress to new heights. So much so, in fact, that one wonders if AI really does have the potential to take our jobs in the future.

However, although AI will transform the work world and some industries will see machines take over human roles, it isn’t about to steal everyone’s job.

Some industries and roles will be largely unaffected by AI, such as much of the IT sector, finance, legal, and roles in financial institutions. Workers in these fields don’t have to worry about their job security – at least, not for the foreseeable future. For one thing, artificial intelligence and machine learning are still young technologies.

For now, for these roles, AI will simply change how workplaces operate and allow us to perform our jobs more efficiently.

Jobs that are safe from AI

The common thread between these jobs? They require human qualities.

Digital image of a man in suit holding a floating image with the text 'AI' in the centre

Image: Getty

Lawyer

Although lawyers are regularly required to sift through and analyse piles of legal documents – something artificial intelligence technologies could do, very quickly – the role of a lawyer involves certain tasks a robot is incapable of.

Why AI couldn’t take over this job: What human lawyers can do that AI tech can’t is making decisions and judgments, reasoning with other human beings, and appealing to very human factors like emotions. What’s more, AI software is incapable of understanding that every legal case is unique.

Cases are complex and involve deeply considering all kinds of factors and a range of possibilities when it comes to building a solid case, deciding on how to approach a solution, making negotiations, and more.

What is more, AI bots – ChatGPT – are not free of biases. Due to the fact they sift through all information available online, including information containing prejudiced opinions and more, they can pick this up and at times generate answers that reinforce societal biases. The point of a fair legal case is to leave biases out of it.

SEO Professionals

You might think that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) would be one of the roles AI would be able to take over one day. However, this isn’t the case.

Why AI couldn’t take over this job: AI technologies have the potential to perform things like keyword research, SEO strategy, reporting, and content creation (with some caveats and limitations), but this doesn’t cover the entirety of an SEO role, which includes many nuanced tasks.

What’s more, it can’t replace human content creators completely when companies want their content to rank in Google searches, as Google dislikes, and can (usually) detect AI-generated content.

A human would have to come into the process somewhere, for example, to rewrite a blog post by a chatbot in their own words and with an original spin, to fact-check bots’ work, and to ensure the avoidance of an SEO no-no: keyword-stuffing.

With content and SEO, technologies like ChatGPT are missing one key ingredient that only humans have: creativity and the ability to think outside the box. They’re also at greater risk of producing content that Google will flag as spam.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Specialists

PPC campaigns actually require the use of AI; think automation layering, which is run by basic AI software to automate the bidding process in Pay-Per-Click auctions. However, this doesn’t mean AI technology can take on the whole job of a PPC Specialist.

Why AI couldn’t take over this job: Humans will be needed to guide AI technology in PPC projects; they will have to input information to teach AI technology how to make the right decisions and, when something fails, to work out what didn’t work.

What is more, people are able to gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ brands and values than AI is capable of, and this understanding can be used to formulate effective PPC strategies.

Software Programmer

Among its many impressive capabilities, ChatGPT can also write code, flawlessly – meaning unlike a human, it won’t ever leave out things like decimals and brackets that a human may occasionally forget. Not only this, but the chatbot is also an AWS (Amazon Web Services) Certified Cloud Practitioner, showing it can even pass coding exams.

Another software, AlphaCode, is also impressive and is said to code at a ‘competitive level’, having ranked in the top 54% of participants in a coding competition.

However, AI isn’t going to oust Software Programmers from their positions any time soon.

Why AI couldn’t take over this job: AI is still only able to generate fairly simple code, and humans will still be needed for a long time to input code that solves more complex problems. AI tech has a long way to go before it will be able to solve difficult applications. It will improve as it learns but this will take some time.

However, AI will help to streamline the coding process, being able to take on routine tasks like quality assessment, generating boilerplate code for generic functions, and debugging code, while humans can lend their attention to more complicated aspects of coding.

Project Managers

AI software can be used to make project management more seamless and efficient and analyse reams of data, basically acting as a perfect assistant to a Project Manager. But could it be a Project Manager? Not really.

Why AI couldn’t take over this job: AI can be used to do everything from automating planning to monitoring projects and spotting errors. However, although it can enhance project management, once again it lacks what humans have – the ability to produce work and problem-solve using creativity.

What’s more, AI does not have the social skills of humans except for what it learns from inputs, which does not translate to the ability to actually think and judge for itself how to interact with others. It cannot discern when, say, an employee needs help with their role in a project.

What is more, project schedules can change at the drop of a hat, unexpected obstacles can come up, and more. Automated technology that is taught to work in patterns cannot manage these elements.

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