InvestmentsAug 16 2017

Your world at its fingertips

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Your world at its fingertips
ByMagdalena Ramada and Andrew Harley

Imagine a world in which your digital footprint gets recorded in real time into an immutable, highly encrypted distributed digital ledger (for example, a blockchain) that is connected to your watch, phone, car, smart house, private virtual assistant and wearable health tracking devices that track your sugar and cholesterol levels, brain activity and molecular decay.

This data can provide insights into your driving and sleeping behaviour, moods and stress, recently acquired taste for expensive wines, the extent of your social network or the fact that your running shoes have lost their grip.

Data ownership

You own that data and have the private encryption key that allows you or others to decrypt it. Your private virtual assistant — an AI that has learned to defend your interests — communicates and negotiates with other AIs on how to use that data to, for example, get access to better and more personalised insurance products. Once granted access, the underwriters’ AI accesses unstructured data lakes containing the immutable record of your past behaviour.

Based on the information, AI-enabled blockchain smart contracts self-issue a personalised insurance policy, designed only for you, with clauses, prices and coverage that self-adapt in real time to your needs by learning from your past behaviour and assessing your riskiness in real time.

This AI may be able to infer that despite the fact that you consistently drive at a speed that is 10 per cent higher than speed limits, what actually constitutes a higher accident risk factor is that you have slept less than four hours. Indeed, before you even leave your home, your private AI assistant has shared this information with your connected car and that this may affect your driving. 

Your car may suggest driving itself that morning or, if you refuse, since you are in a hurry and think you will be able to get to work more quickly than your driverless car, it will start communicating with the AIs of neighbouring cars to make sure everyone gets to work safely. This will all be followed closely by your smart insurance policy, which may decide to charge you more or may decide to help you reduce your stress and incentivise you to change your habits.

Wearable devices

The wearable device tracking your brain activity will have the intelligence to let you know many hours in advance that you will be having a migraine or to give you tailored games to play on your smartphone to avoid certain parts of your brain losing its memory or certain types of synapses disappearing. It will let your smart disability insurance policy know about the changing odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.