(Image credit: Norbert Aepli.)
Munich Re (Munich) has announced that it is enhancing the acceptance of artificial intelligence (AI) through its new CertAI validation service, thus paving the way for the responsible use of AI applications. The new service is the result of a collaboration between Munich Re with startup CertX (Freiburg, Switzerland) and Fraunhofer IAIS (Sankt Augustin, Germany).
“The digitalization megatrend is also transforming the risk landscape,” comments Torsten Jeworrek, Member of the Board of Management, Munich Re. “Novel risks—be they in the area of cyber, data analytics, quantum computing or artificial intelligence—call for innovative solutions. Munich Re started investing in the build-up of relevant know-how early on and is unlocking new digital fields of business for the benefit of its clients on an ongoing basis. CertAI will enable us to take the next step forward and reinforce our position as a reliable industry partner for the digital world.”
Munich Re explains the value proposition of CertAI by noting that companies from a variety of industries are currently investing in the development and deployment of AI with the aim of generating promising business opportunities. However, many people still have doubts regarding the use of this technology in operational processes, and the novel risks associated with AI are fraught with uncertainty. To address those concerns and potential risks, CertAI independently and objectively validates the trustworthiness of AI in new product solutions and demonstrates its quality to clients, investors and supervisory authorities. For example, potential use cases can be implemented in the financial sector or in the manufacturing industry, Munich Re notes.
CertAI is designed to validate fully fledged AI systems or AI solutions already in productive use, according to Munich Re. The new service analyses these solutions on the basis of six different factors: fairness, autonomy and control, transparency, robustness, functional and cyber security, and data protection. For this purpose, Munich Re says it has pooled its deep risk expertise in the area of traditional industrial insurance and new technologies with the experience of the Swiss certification company CertX. This start-up company, in which Munich Re has held a stake since late 2021, was launched four years ago at the University of Applied Sciences in Freiburg
“CertAI supplements our offering, and we, in turn, are contributing our own know-how to it,” comments Jens Henkner, director, CertX. “We look forward to engaging in a long-term partnership which Munich Re has underpinned with its strategic shareholding. Going forward, I am certain that we will be able to explore more global business ideas together that combine certification and insurance.”
“CertAI is a service that will give Munich Re yet another opportunity to contribute its qualified risk perspective to a forward-looking technology at the earliest possible stage and on the broadest scale,” says Fabian Winter, Chief Data Officer, Munich Re. “CertAI will enable us to address the significantly expanding coverage needs of AI solution providers in the market. At the same time, it will help us to hone our analytical skills in assessing the use of artificial intelligence for the insurance risks of tomorrow.”
Munich Re characterizes the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems as a further key collaboration partner. As an import research organization in the fields of artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data in Germany and Europe, Fraunhofer IAIS is a pioneer in the development of AI certification systems. The Institute drafted one of the first sets of AI guidelines enabling companies to operationalize requirements with regard to the trustworthiness of intelligent systems for the development of individualized AI applications.
New Risk Areas and Client Requirements
The CertAI risk service is the second AI product Munich Re has cooperated in, after aiSure. Both initiatives are the result of Munich Re’s global innovation activities and were developed in the company’s own venture building and incubation program. While CertAI can help to define whether AI systems meet the requirements regarding trustworthy AI, aiSure focuses on the performance of these systems and covers the financial costs resulting from the reduced performance of an AI application. Both products complement each other by addressing different client needs.
Munich Re places the products within the context of the increasing implementation of AI in business—for instance as part of Industry 4.0 and autonomous driving—which the firm says is giving rise to many new risk areas and client requirements that need to be identified, analyzed, understood and evaluated. Munich Re considers trustworthy artificial intelligence to be a strategic growth area offering attractive business opportunities, particularly since the AI risks arising from future technologies such as quantum computing are set to become even more significant in future.