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Manulife keen on artificial intelligence

By Aurélia Morvan | November 04 2019 04:23PM

Photo: Pixabay

Machines that can simulate human intelligence are revolutionizing insurance. To advance in this area, Manulife has signed a partnership with Mila — the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute, renowned as a space for innovation in artificial intelligence and technology transfer.

Manulife Quebec President and CEO Richard Payette made this announcement at the Canada FinTech Forum, held in Montreal on Oct. 22 and 23. Manulife aims to become a leader in digital technology. It already uses artificial intelligence for pricing and travel insurance. The association with Mila is expected to propel the insurer even further.

Redefining the customer experience

Manulife wants to develop new solutions to enhance Canadians’ health and financial well-being. It also aims to approve its abilities in artificial intelligence and advanced analysis, in order to honour two of its commitments: help people live better and facilitating decision-making.

“This partnership with Mila will let Manulife profit from a range of startup businesses led by large universities, while it increases its pool of data scientists and redefines the customer experience on the local, national and global scale,” Payette adds.

The partnership has just been concluded, but the concrete details still need to be sorted out. The collaboration may take several forms, Anne-Julie Gratton, media relations consultant at Manulife told the Insurance Portal.

The two entities will work together to “develop research subjects,” she says. This may involve funding or exchanges of data and even brains. “We are weighing the possibility that one of the Mila scientists joins Manulife, either as a consultant or an employee,” Gratton continues.

An AI network

Partnerships such as the one formed with Manulife are “essential,” says Stéphane Létourneau, Vice-President, Partnerships and Corporate Affairs at Mila. They “allow knowledge transfer, collaboration on projects and especially creation of a network that brings together the various AI development efforts as opposed to keeping them in silos,” he says.

Founded in 1993, the Quebec Artificial Intelligence Institute is run by the Université de Montréal and McGill University, in association with the École Polytechnique de Montréal and HEC Montréal. This world-renowned organization collaborates with other institutes and universities around the world, as well as with companies like FacebookGoogle and Microsoft. The research institute also nurtures the emergence of startups.

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