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Recent technology innovations offer considerable benefits to both insurers and consumers, but they also introduce new risks. (Photo: iStock)

Many insurance companies have been in business for hundreds of years. Their brands are often household names and evoke a sense of tradition consistent with their long histories. However, the ways in which insurance products are designed, advertised, underwritten, sold, and administered are undergoing rapid change—the business of insurance, like almost every other major industry, is increasingly a high-tech venture. The impact of these high-tech changes on the global economy, including the use of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, the internet of things, augmented reality, and robotics, has been hailed by some as the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

This coming revolution is conspicuous in some industries. Self-driving cars are already navigating public streets in California; our homes are becoming populated with internet-connected devices like the Nest, the Amazon Echo, and smart TVs; and, of course, our trusty smartphones are increasingly integrated into every minute of our professional, personal, and social lives.

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