Kelvin Chamunorwa addresses the importance of adapting in a rapidly developing world
The current pace of technological change is profound. In recent years this has largely been driven by the internet, which has become ubiquitous in our daily lives.
The advent of digital professions led LinkedIn to carry out a survey in 2013 of parents' awareness of different careers. User interface designers and data scientists were among the top three professionals whose work was most misunderstood, and so were actuaries. When asked what an actuary was, some of the responses were amusing: "It's to do with birds or numbers" and, "that guy from Along Came Polly".
A recent development that will undoubtedly affect actuaries' work is driverless cars - perhaps the most significant innovation on our roads since the internal combustion engine. Since last month, trials of driverless cars have been under way in four cities in the UK, and they could become part of our daily lives as soon as 10 years from now. As a large element of motor insurance pricing is currently determined by rating factors associated with the driver, a fresh approach to insurance will be required.
Some readers will recall the near collapse of Lloyd's of London back in the 1990s, and the creativity and adjustment that was required to recover from it. Gemma Gregson and Helen Lau interview Andrew Duguid, who gives a fascinating insider's view of events at Lloyd's during that time. Duguid discusses the role actuaries played in the recovery and the lessons learned (Back from the brink).
Returning to the present, Gabi Baumgartner and Tejas Nandurdikar discuss the benefits and pitfalls of automating the production of financial statements under Solvency II, in light of increased time pressures (Electronic surveillance).
As the need for human intervention reduces, there will continue to be a lot of change in the way we live and work. It is imperative that we continue to adapt as we extend our influence as a profession.
What are your views on the issues raised in The Actuary this month? If you remain sceptical about all this technology, I still accept letters in the post.