Can artificial intelligence improve accountancy, insurance and legal services?
A £20 million 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 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.
Prof Milne said: “Our £1.23m 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 £190 billion.
The study is part of the Next-Generation Services Challenge (NGSC) that also supports projects at the University of Oxford and University of Sheffield.
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.
Notes for editors
Press release reference number: 18/158
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Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.
It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, top in the country for its student experience in the 2018 THE Student Experience Survey and named University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019 and the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2018.
Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2019, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2019. It was also named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.
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