Kelvin Chamunorwa looks at the impact of advancing technology and how this will transform the role of actuaries
Last month there was wide media coverage of the Oscars - both the film awards in California and the trial of the athlete Pistorius in South Africa. Live updates were available at your fingertips. Apparently the host at the awards arranged an 'impromptu' selfie with a dozen film stars during the live event. The photo was shared on Twitter over two million times by the end of the ceremony, causing it to crash briefly. It made headlines in the papers, but hours later.
Social media generates the news content now - it's no wonder business is embracing it.
In this month's issue we include an engaging interview with Roelof Botha, an actuary and venture capitalist, whose career journey led him from South Africa to California. Botha works at the forefront of innovation in Silicon Valley and demonstrates how his actuarial training has been useful to technology companies that impact the lives of millions globally.
The advancement of technology affects actuaries' work directly too. Telematics data is already being used to assess risk for motor insurance. In our lead feature, Ben Pring suggests that 'code halos' - the digital trail left by consumers online, including social media - could be used more widely in the insurance industry for more sophisticated pricing of risk.
For pension schemes, real-time online valuation tools allow more nimble risk management.
In the UK, the national statistician has recognised technology trends and last month added video on-demand subscriptions such as Netflix to the basket of goods used to measure inflation. With an increasing amount of automation and vast amounts of data readily available, the key question is what to do with it. Actuaries' expertise will be crucial for informed business decisions.
John Reeve wrote in as he believes excessive regulation for actuaries could ultimately drive clients away from the profession, and Jessica Elkin finds a simple solution for any actuarial students panicking about the exams this month. What's your view? Send me an email. Or a tweet.