An Intro to Computer Vision and It’s Impact on Insurance Claims and Analytics

Hemi Ventures
Oct 5, 2017 · 5 min read

At Hemi Ventures, we are always looking ahead towards technologies that can transform the ways that things used to operate. Something that has been growing quickly is the advancement of computer vision technologies. As we continue to look ahead, the applications of the technology will benefit various industries, economies of scale, and generate new opportunities that we didn’t think were available before.

However, lets first think of some of the trends that are occurring to support the advancement of computer vision. According to the Embedded Vision Alliance, the five major trends that we will see in coming months and years for computer vision will be a flood of “image data, deep learning, 3d sensing, simultaneous location/mapping, and vision tasks done on various types of devices known as “the edge”.

When it comes to massive amounts of image data: phone cameras, drones, and satellites are populating available databases with images that can be used to help train algorithmic models. The large amount of data per image times the great number of images produced per camera times the ever-growing number of cameras means that image sensor data will dwarf all other sensor data. Deep learning unveils context beyond image recognition and it understands the relationships. For example, previously computers could see a few people in a room with plates and a frying pan. Now, it can recognize that it is adults cooking dinner together. Sensing, can really bring the insight that goes along with the scale and how far things are related to you and other objects. This directly ties to simultaneous location and mapping which shows how objects are situated within the real dynamic world. The Embedded Vision Alliance references the Impulse Response column to say that it is believed to be the next GPS. Think of Waze for everything, but with passive data that doesn’t need to be user generated for updates and real time information and imaging to make sense of things. When computing and data collection is processed, it is no longer just on the cloud, it is on the “edge” of various devices which opens up a wealth of opportunity where data can be processed, interacted with, and make calculations against various other datapoints.

With the computer Vision market poised to reach $33.3 Billion in 2019, as noted by Tractica , it is important to understand the basics of how computer vision works. Algorithmia shares some great examples of how Facebook and various technology verticals do this while also effortlessly simplifying this into three concepts: “object classification (categorizing into things that you have already learned) , identification (recognition of a specific instance of an object), and detection (the ability to identify that there’s an object in an image).”

“We believe there is a massive market opportunity in computer vision, especially in the insurance space. Two major opportunities for this sector, we think in claims cycle time and in analytics ” Amy Gu, Managing Partner of Hemi Ventures

In regards to the claims cycle time, an article by Digital Insurance speaks about how AI has been used initially for a startup Tractable to reduce claims review cycle times. “Most insurance companies only review 30–40% of the claims that come in, but with AI, 100% of the claims can be reviewed” as mentioned by the CEO. Furthermore, Mitchell: a technology company that services the P&C insurance space has partnered with Tractable to expedite the claims/repair process by utilizing “millions of photos from damaged vehicles to ‘train’ computers to recognize vehicle damage across all makes and models of cars and trucks. Then, once an estimate has been written, Mitchell Review will use computer vision to double-check a repair vs. replace decision — based completely on photos.

When it comes to analytics and research, computer vision can truly be of value as a tool to assist with underwriting, reinsurance, and risk. With one of our latest investments Tensorflight , we are proud to support this mission and be on the bleeding edge of technology when it comes to providing valuable information for decisions can be made from the powerful data of satellites. Hemi Ventures is the lead investor for Tensorflight’s seed round. Tensorflight is an early stage start-up focused on artificial intelligence for the property insurance industry.

“We are honored to partner with Hemi ventures and excited about their focus on deep learning and insurtech. New funds will allow us to scale computer vision algorithms to cover properties globally and build the sales team.” said TensorFlight CEO, Robert Kozikowski

Upon request of a user, Tensorflight’s proprietary technology provides up to date data on over 90% of buildings in seconds. The benefit over this when compared to drones or a UAV network is that there is no need for supply or demand to have access to these images in real time or latency since the satellites continuously have this available and accessible. This was a pivot that the company made to create a significant competitive edge in both innovation and in the efficacy of its application.

“In addition to an exceptionally strong team, we believe Tensorflight has developed a first-class technology that can disrupt the property insurance space. They have used AI and computer vision to significantly improve the previous manual in-person property inspection process. Property insurance is a huge market and we are very excited to work with Tensorflight to bring much-needed automation to this space.” Amy Gu, Managing Partner of Hemi Ventures

In conclusion, computer vision will continue to shape the way that various industries will passively provide, calculate, and analyze info. It will supplement some jobs, but create new exciting ones to support the technology. The level of sophistication will only grow as computing power increases it’s footprint and speed. Most importantly, various relevant industries like the insurance industry that has lacked innovation and required several manual processes will now be enhanced for efficiency and throughput.

Hemi Ventures is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage companies. Hemi has backed frontier technology companies in the autonomous vehicle, artificial intelligence, robotics and biotech sectors. Hemi’s mission is to invest in the technologies that solve the big problems. As a fund, Hemi works hand in hand with entrepreneurs, empowering them to dream big and develop new ideas that can make the world better.

If you are a founder with great technologies and would like to share you business with us, please go to our website for more information and connect with us through LinkedIn.

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