May 2018

Chairperson's Corner

By Bill Rearden

Quantum computing has long been considered a mythical and futuristic leap for accelerated computational power and technological capability. Earlier this year, the world’s first 49-qubit quantum chip debuted. The chip is capable of processing information 30,000 times faster than the current fastest computer chip. At these speeds, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities will become ubiquitous. For actuaries, these new developments will mean dramatic increases in automation, speed and accuracy of risk management.

The Entrepreneurial & Innovation Section (E&I) is actively trying to help members prepare for these coming innovations. To help with current news, E&I members have free digital access to The New York Times. In March 2018, a team of E&I Council members launched Innovation Insights, a monthly email that shares important trends for E&I members.

At Society of Actuaries (SOA) meetings E&I continues to organize insightful sessions to help members and actuaries at large. In May at the 2018 Life & Annuity Symposium, E&I organized sessions on topics of Insurtech and disruption. The following month in June at the Health Meeting, E&I organized sessions on innovation in areas of the actuarial health practice. For the 2018 SOA Annual Meeting, sessions are being prepared to showcase the theme of Entrepreneurship and Innovation within the SOA.

Many actuaries are intrigued to know more about how rapid changes in technology will influence the actuarial profession. In March E&I hosted a webcast explaining details of AI and machine learning (ML) and their possible applications. In early summer E&I is planning webcasts on Blockchain and its uses for the insurance industry.

In the last six months E&I has uploaded several podcast interviews with entrepreneurial actuaries in nontraditional roles, or with roles in startup companies. The content has been extraordinarily interesting with rave reviews from E&I members.

Interested in volunteering with E&I? We are always looking for help with the many initiatives the council is working on to benefit members. Feel free to participate by reaching out to the council team or by contributing articles to the E&I section’s Innovators & Entrepreneurs Newsletter.

Bill Rearden, ASA, M.A., is co-founder and strategy consultant at Ironbound Consulting Group in New York City. He can be contacted at