Navigating AI with integrity:
Allianz’s Chief Privacy Officer Philipp Räther on the new EU AI Act
In an insightful interview with the , Philipp Räther, Group Chief Privacy Officer at Allianz, highlighted the Act's significance, saying that "we are living in the age of digitalization, especially for banks and insurers, whose business is particularly data-dependent." Räther applauded the EU for addressing the challenges posed by generative AI, which can produce “hallucinations,” i.e. false results, thus advocating for transparent processes in AI development. Under the Act, Allianz can now legally inquire if AI systems have considered copyright laws. Räther notes that before this legislation, AI developers could decline to share such information. However, the Act now prohibits this practice.
One of the key factors, as Räther points out, will always be the commitment to human oversight: "Humans will always be the final decision-makers." This principle ensures that AI's efficiency does not compromise human judgment and ethics. It addresses concerns over AI's potential to automate decision-making without accountability.
Räther also emphasized the global impact of the EU AI Act, predicting it will set a precedent for AI regulation worldwide, similar to the influence of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). He believes that the Act's balanced approach to innovation and regulation will foster trust in AI systems, which is crucial for their acceptance and integration into society.
The Act's implications for the insurance sector are profound, promising not only to streamline processes but also to innovate product offerings. Räther cites examples from car insurance, where AI can tailor premiums to individual driving behaviors, benefiting consumers directly. "AI is advantageous for the insurance industry: processes are not only faster and cheaper but also more innovative," Räther asserts.
In conclusion, the EU AI Act represents a significant step forward in the responsible and ethical development and deployment of AI technologies. By prioritizing transparency, human oversight, and ethical considerations, it aims to ensure that AI benefits society without compromising individual rights or safety. Räther's insights from the interview offer a valuable perspective on how the Act will shape the future of the insurance industry.
** As of December 31, 2023.