Executive Education


28 Nov 2018

Can artificial intelligence improve accountancy, insurance and legal services?

image of lady justice in zeros and ones

A £20million scheme to investigate how artificial intelligence and data science can transform UK services industries will be launched next month.

Loughborough University is one of three academic institutions tasked by the UK Government to look at using artificial intelligence to increase processing times, improve customer engagement and unlock new potential in accountancy, legal and insurance services.

Professor Alistair Milne and Professor Chris Holland of the School of Business and Economics will lead one of three projects, Technology Driven Change and Next Generation Insurance Value Chains, which aims to identify and map the opportunities for AI-based innovation in the UK insurance industry.

Professor Milne said:

“Our £1.23mn project investigates the application of new data technologies such as AI, machine learning and distributed ledgers using the explosion of available data including from social media and the connections to the 'internet of Things’.

"Working closely with some of the major UK insurance firms, we will examine how these technologies are changing business processes and business models in underwriting and risk analytics, claims processing and in customer engagement, examining the barriers to adoption and the enablers of change.”

Services account for almost 80% of the UK economy, with financial and professional services alone employing around 2.2 million and valued at £190billion.

The study is part of the Next-Generation Services Challenge (NGSC) that also supports projects at the University of Oxford and University of Sheffield.

Read the Gov.uk press release

The three new research projects are backed by £3 million through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) – a Government scheme to strengthen UK science and business innovation – and will be led by UK Research and Innovation.

The other two projects are:

  • Unlocking the Potential of AI for English Law (Oxford) will look at existing challenges to implementing AI in legal services and how to unlock its potential for good. The project will bring academics, lawyers, businesses and programmers together to develop the skills, training and codes of practice to deliver these benefits. The team will gather best practices across the world, outline data challenges, identify where and how AI can legitimately resolve disputes and map the frontier of AI in legal reasoning.
  • Innovating Next Generation Services through Collaborative Design (Sheffield) will consider current product users’ attitudes to using AI-enhanced products in a bid to identify how firms can more rapidly roll out AI products. Key to the project will be the exploration and identification of the main areas of threat and opportunity offered by the adoption of AI in accounting and law as well as analysing the potential barriers to AI-based business model innovation. The project will work with mid-size firms across law and accountancy.