South Korea: AIA Life introduces artificial intelligence-based customer service

| 01 Aug 2017

AIA Life Korea branch has announced that it will soon introduce an artificial intelligence-based customer service centre. This is believed to be the first of its kind in South Korea.

The AI call centre, named “AIA ON” is based on a “Aibril” platform by IT service provider SK C&C, which uses IBM Watson’s AI technology combined with detailed Korean language learning. The centre is generally divided into a chat-based chatbot system, and a robo-teller that responds by telephone.

This service will be available 24/7, without the customers having to wait, so it helps increase productivity, efficiency and accuracy of services, said AIA Life Korea. The chatbot will be available from October, while the robo-teller will come into service early next year.

While some insurers have already launched customer services with automatic responses based on preset answers, AIA said its robo-teller will be the first to manage the entire sales process based on AI technology.

In AIA ON’s early stages of operations, humans will oversee the process to ensure that there are no mistakes, said the insurer.

AIA Life Korea and SK C&C have acquired three months’ exclusive rights to use their technology after completing its development, while SK C&C has an agreement with the insurer to operate the call center business for four years.

Customer service, claims and underwriting

In an interview with the Korea Times, AIA Korea’s Chief Technology and Operation Officer Dale Kim said that AI can be potentially applied in three functions—customer service, claims and underwriting.

While AI’s role will be confined to customer service for now, he estimated that it would not be long before AI is applied to the two remaining fields, which are core functions of the life insurance business.

Mr Kim noted that the strengths of AI are efficiency and cost-savings, and while he is also aware of concerns that AI will deprive humans of their jobs, he sees the technology as playing a more complementary role. He said that the company has no plans to downsize its call center workforce in the near future.

According to the Korea Times report, the insurer is planning to have a transition period to find the optimal point between human- and AI-based services.