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SAS outlines predictions for AI's role across sectors
Wed, 6th Dec 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has permeated every corner of our lives. Its potential and possible threats dominate the headlines. Yet, SAS, a global leader in AI and analytics, has offered some clarity on the matter, detailing twelve predictions for the role AI will play across many sectors including financial services, insurance and the public sector in 2024.

Despite fears of AI usurping human jobs, SAS believes AI will instead create new roles. Udo Sglavo, Vice President of Advanced Analytics at SAS, argues; “AI helps workers at all skill levels and roles to be more effective and efficient...they will spark many new jobs and roles that will help drive economic growth." The firm also predicts that generative AI will be used to simulate and improve processes across industries such as banking, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Responsibility is a key theme throughout SAS’s predictions. Jennifer Chase, Chief Marketing Officer at SAS, highlights the increased importance of responsible marketing; using AI technology to optimise results, without losing sight of potential bias or fairness. For her, understanding the "ingredients" in AI is key to its responsible application.

SAS also warns that the financial sector needs to prepare for the "Dark Age of Fraud", with Stu Bradley, Senior Vice President of Risk, Fraud and Compliance Solutions, noting that generative AI is enabling fraudsters to create more convincing scams. This requires banks and financial institutions to respond with their own AI adoption.

Jay Upchurch, CIO at SAS, echoes this concern on a wider scale, indicating that shadow AI could become a significant problem for Chief Information Officers. He argues that these generative AI tools, although often utilised by well-meaning employees for productivity purposes, should be monitored and controlled by IT departments to manage potential risks.

Yet, AI also promises many significant developments. SAS suggests 2024 will see the expansion of multimodal AI, integrating text, images and audio into a single model. This technology is predicted to revolutionise applications such as augmented reality, virtual reality and complex physical system simulations.

AI is also predicted to accelerate the adoption of digital-twin technologies and directly assist in the confrontation of climate risk within the insurance industry. Troy Haines, Senior Vice President of Risk Research and Quantitative Solutions, believes that AI can enable insurers "to tap the potential of their immense data stores to shore up liquidity and be competitive."

Government services, public health, and patient care are also sectors where AI is predicted to have significant impact. SAS reveals that generative AI could be used for personalised medicine, creating patient-specific avatars for clinical trials, generating individualised treatment plans, and providing real-time guidance to payers, providers, and pharmaceutical organisations.

Franklin Manchester, Global Insurance Strategic Advisor, warns insurers about the risk of adopting AI too quickly, predicting that one of the top 100 global insurers may collapse due to hasty AI deployment. Public health, conversely, is likely to see benefits from increased academic involvement in AI-driven modelling and forecasting, responding to public health interventions.

These predictions will be discussed in more depth at SAS Innovate, taking place in Las Vegas, April 16-19, 2024. Bringing together business leaders and analytics experts, this event will delve further into the promises and threats of AI and its impact on industries in the coming year.