Independent adjusters set to outperform AI apps, say stakeholders

Calls for marine insurance and legal professionals to recognize the indispensable value of independent average adjusters – notwithstanding the giant strides by artificial intelligence – were made at the 2023 annual dinner of the Association of Average Adjusters in London. 

It was stressed that average adjusters’ skills would remain unmatched by the latest technological innovations. AI applications would be confounded in handling marine casualties efficiently and reliably because they lacked human qualities such as emotional intelligence and intuition. No-one should be dazzled by the theoretical possibility that AI ‘bots’ might soon be able to ‘pass’ even the tough exams for eligibility of Fellowship of the Association.

The 200-plus members and guests at the Savoy Hotel event who expressed admiration for the long-held traditions of the 154-year-old Association were assured that, with trust a priority and no room for error, average adjusters would continue to tender their expertise at a level that would out-rival generative products.

Melis Otmar, who is qualified as an Associate within the Association, said that the industry had to determine its approach to Artificial Intelligence, which could scan everything in a document and reach a conclusion within seconds.

“Where do I stand,” Ms Otmar asked rhetorically, “against AI which might achieve becoming a Fellow of the Association in just four hours” – judging by the time it took Google’s Alpha Zero program to self-learn chess and ‘smash’ the rival computer reigning world champion. 

“Where do I stand against AI who may learn by heart every marine insurance condition, case, and adjustment available in minutes? Where do I stand against AI who may do a Lloyd’s Open Form salvage award calculation in seconds?

“Previously technology replaced unskilled tasks, and new technology coming in created new jobs. However, currently, AI can perform white-collar jobs more efficiently; and the degree of existential risk posed by AI is to be debated. Nevertheless… marine professionals survived with their innate knowledge and intuition; no marine casualty can be handled successfully without human emotional intelligence or intuition – this is what AI lacks. General average will be general and average to AI but only on paper, not in action.

“In the words of Churchill: ‘We are still masters of our fate. We still are captains of our souls.’”

Photo credit: iStock/DINphotogallery

The best maritime news and insights delivered to you.

Here's what you can expect from us:

  • Event offers and discounts
  • News & key insights of the maritime industry
  • Expert analysis and opinions on corruption and more