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kimjongfun 01-31-2015 10:35 PM

I think the threat of automation is greater than we think
I have found some previous threads talking about the risk of automation for the actuarial career, but its mostly a debate about how the type of work we are doing will shift or how it will be more programming based, etc.

I think the points made in those threads are all valid and I think Colonel Smoothie is right that we will need to learn more and more technical skills going forward.

However I do not think our biggest risk is being replaced by machines or automation for our jobs. I think our biggest risk comes from everyone else's jobs being automated.

It is estimated that around 50% of the jobs in America will be automated and eliminated over the next 20 years. This will drastically hurt the demand for our products and therefore us as an extension.

What is the purpose of life insurance? To cover current indebtedness and replace estimated future earnings of a breadwinner. - If a lot less people are working and being breadwinners there will be lower demand for life insurance. They will be on the government dole instead.

We all know pensions are on there way out, no need to comment there.

With health we will see fewer people working and thus fewer people being covered by employer provided insurance and again, more people relying on the government. This will only accelerate calls for single payer takeover of healthcare.

With P&C obviously driverless cars decrease demand for car insurance, and homeowners insurance will be hurt by fewer people being able to buy a home and make the payments. This may give a slight boost to renters insurance, but that's a drop in the bucket comparatively.

Fewer workers means less workers comp coverage. Fewer vacations means less travel insurance... you could go on and on about how the replacement of the need for people drastically reduces the amount of risk out there and the demand for the products designed for people to hedge against that risk.

AbedNadir 01-31-2015 10:44 PM

If I met a guy who stopped pursuing the actuarial track because he feared for his job security in the face of increased automation I'd think he was out of his mind lol

actually my initial reaction would be to think that he couldn't do exams and was lying about his real reason for stopping and if I pressed him and determined he was serious I'd be a little wierded out

Kanye West 01-31-2015 10:49 PM

Actuarial work isn't going anywhere for the next 30 years. Best advice I can muster is if you're considering P&C don't paint yourself into a corner by being a one-trick pony. Do some personal lines and commercial lines work early in your career. Learn reserving and pricing work, maybe join a consultancy. Joining a predictive modeling department will give you the option to switch industries down the road if it really does all go belly up.

Be like water. -Bruce Lee

Yamamay 02-01-2015 12:41 AM


Originally Posted by kimjongfun (Post 7902928)
Fewer workers

This is where you're wrong.

nonlnear 02-01-2015 01:08 AM

The real question is why you are even bothering to think about the threat of automation at all. The singularity will make all human thought moot, when even that will be automated.

We're all just part of the prequel to the illustrious history of our robotic overlords. Why sweat the details? :yawn:

jesusislord 02-01-2015 01:34 AM

Automation may eliminate jobs but new ones will be created just as quickly. clearly you need a refresher in real analysis

Abelian Grape 02-01-2015 01:35 AM

dat slippery slope way of thinking

Fracktuary 02-01-2015 11:54 AM

Everyone concerned with the effects of automation should read the book "The Second Machine Age".

In it they tell the story of deep blue, the computer that was unbeatable by any human.

So for many years no human could straight up beat the computer program. Until somebody decided to pair a good chess player with a mediocre computer. The combination easily beat the best computer simulation. Kind of a random story, but my point is that automation and computers open up a new realm of possibility for those who can wield them.

A decent human + good software > the best software in the world. Technology creates more opportunity than it destroys.

Abelian Grape 02-01-2015 11:55 AM


Ito's Phlegm 02-01-2015 12:02 PM


Originally Posted by jesusislord (Post 7902984)
Automation may eliminate jobs but new ones will be created just as quickly. clearly you need a refresher in real analysis

Will they?

How many workers displaced by automation can fill the new jobs created to develop automation? I don't think it's 1:1, probably much less.

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