Lifestyle Article - Actuaries using Data Science and AI techniques


The application and capability of data science and artificial intelligence are expanding very rapidly and there is a heightened focus on the opportunities and risks they pose.

 Actuaries are familiar with using data science and AI in modelling and have an important role to play in ensuring safe, transparent and inclusive use of this technology. They also have a responsibility to consider whether emerging techniques are being developed in a way that will benefit society and is in the public interest. That’s according to the latest thematic review from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) ‘Actuaries using Data Science and Artificial Intelligence techniques’.

 The review highlights examples of where actuaries are using or developing new ways to use existing and emerging data science techniques. The insight and case studies provided by IFoA members and their organisations show that the range of applications for data science and AI is widening at pace. While this opens up opportunities for actuaries in both traditional actuarial fields and new domains, ever-growing sources of data and increasing capacity of AI and data science tools changes existing risks and introduces new ones.

 Alan Marshall, report author and IFoA Review Actuary, said: “It is exciting to see such high levels of innovation in this rapidly evolving field. Actuaries are using data science and AI to provide solutions to a range of problems and we want to support and encourage this work in a way that serves the wider good of society and seeks fair outcomes for all. We hope the findings in this thematic review will help actuaries to remain competitive in this field. I would like to thank all those IFoA members and organisations who took part in this review.”

 The report also points to the extensive regulatory activity around the globe relating to the use of data science and AI. While different parts of the world are at different stages in terms of oversight, the report advises that in 2024, some jurisdictions are likely to evolve from principle-based guidance to more formal regulation.

 Neil Buckley, IFoA Regulatory Board Chair, said: “Given the significant ongoing regulatory activity in many countries, there is a balance to be struck with any further IFoA specific actions, especially as the environment in which actuaries are working in data science and AI will undoubtedly continue to evolve. We support a review of our current ethical and professional guidance for data science, and the continued development of professional skills material in this area. We will also continue to engage with IFoA members and volunteers taking an active interest in AI and data science and encourage collaboration with global actuarial associations and other agencies to help drive responsible and ethical use of emerging technologies in the public interest.”

 This report on ‘Actuaries using Data Science and Artificial Intelligence techniques’ is part of the Actuarial Monitoring Scheme (AMS). It continues the regulatory work of the IFoA in independently reviewing areas of work in which actuaries have significant involvement and influence.
  

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