Allianz report on artificial intelligence identifies benefits and risks for businesses

By Johan De Mulder

A new report from Allianz's Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) arm has highlighted the positives and negatives for businesses when incorporating artificial intelligence (AI).

Allianz has previously projected that AI technologies will boost corporate profitability in 16 industries across 12 economies by an average of 38% by 2035, but new insights demonstrate the hurdles companies will have to jump to achieve such growth.

According to Allianz's Risk Barometer 2018, business owners already rank AI as the seventh top business risk, ahead of even climate change. The report highlights particular issues around cyber security, with the switch from man to machine creating more vulnerability. In the current climate, it's estimated that a major cyber attack could trigger cumulative losses in excess of $50bn. 

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Allianz has focused on five main areas of risk concerning AI: software accessibility, safety, accountability, liability and ethics, but the report also emphasised the gains companies can make by implementing the technology. Operations can be transformed in terms of efficiency, it found, while customer experiences can be greatly improved.

"AI comes with potential benefits and risks in many areas: economic, political, mobility, healthcare, defense and the environment," said Michael Bruch, Head of Emerging Trends at AGCS.

"Active risk management strategies will be needed to maximize the net benefits of a full introduction of advanced AI applications into society."

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