Secretary-General of Thai General Insurance Association, Anon Vangvasu has forecast that in the next 5-10 years, a fifth of the workforce in the Thai insurance industry could lose their jobs as insurers shift to digital technology.
Vangvasu said: "Competition in the insurance market is very high, pressuring players to cut operating costs by adopting new technologies to replace human jobs."
The Bangkok Post reported that the insurance industry has been adopting digital technology in its back office operations for some time, and that has eliminated the need for some jobs dealing with paperwork.
Anon said: "In the next 5-10 years, the effects of innovation and new technology on employment in the [insurance] sector will be seen largely in customer service."
He said insurance firms have been issuing policies in electronic form and that while the technology has yet to be widely accepted among customers, its use will gradually rise and the number of employees tasked with policy delivery to customers will fall accordingly.
Insurance claims going through electronic channels like mobile applications are also rising quickly, reducing the need for employees whose job it is to process these claims for customers.
However, with digital technology on the rise this means there will be an increase in jobs that require analytical skills as they cannot be completely replaced by computers or robots, Anon said.
Secretary-General of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), Porametee Vimolsiri said disruptive technology has already affected many sectors including media, banking, tourism, transport, energy and retail. Even though some jobs will disappear, new jobs will be created or demand for other job categories will increase.
So far in Thailand, there has not been any remarkable changes in the job industry attributed to AI, however that future is close as the country has started implementing the Thailand 4.0 policy to move towards digitisation.
The government has been preparing platforms such as broadband internet, a mobile payment system and a regulatory sandbox so that access and adoption of technology is more inclusive and faster.