Inaugural Remarks of 2023-24 Academy President Lisa Slotznick at the American Academy of Actuaries' Annual Meeting on Nov. 13, 2023
What an honor for me to stand before you today as Academy President, for our audience here in Washington, and those watching from afar.
Our audience today represents a spectrum of experience, from seasoned professionals who have dedicated decades to this noble profession, to the fresh faces of younger actuaries eager to shape the future.
Beyond our immediate ranks, we are joined by those who share our passion for understanding and managing risk, from diverse fields and backgrounds.
This diversity in our audience underscores the far-reaching impact of our work, as it touches industries, economies, and communities across our country.
So, what lies ahead for the American Academy of Actuaries and for our profession as a whole? The answer is a resounding call to action.
We must be forward-looking in our endeavors, pioneering new methodologies and innovative solutions to tackle the challenges of today and those on the horizon.
Whether it's the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the complexities of climate risk, or the advent of artificial intelligence, our expertise will be instrumental in shaping the solutions for a brighter, more secure future.
Now, before I continue, I have something to share with you.
The words I spoke after I thanked Ken, and accepted the honor of serving as your President-- the last 90 seconds or so--were generated by artificial intelligence: ChatGPT, to be specific.
My point in doing so wasn't to trick or mislead anyone. Instead, I did it because, as my year as President kicks off, we are at a moment when AI is center stage and getting attention. I think it's an issue that is a perfect illustration of the critical role and value of the Academy.
Amazing that, based on just a couple of sentences describing the purpose of my speech and the audience entered into ChatGPT, the program came up with some reasonably convincing words reflecting what an incoming Academy president might say. I would not have chosen exactly the same words on my own, but the program definitely did capture some good key words and themes, and spiced it up with a bit of an inspirational tone to boot and maybe a bit less personal tone and more exalted than my own words would have been.
Does this moment represent an inflection point for our actuarial work both from a professionalism standpoint and public policy perspective, and to what degree? That is up for debate, and the effort to put AI into perspective for our profession is happening right here at the Academy with the input of many of you as volunteers lending your voices and perspectives to the discussion.
As AI technology improves and becomes more widely used, you've been reading more about it in Contingencies and in the Academy's other professionalism and public policy publications and resources, including last month's webinar on the topic. I'm thrilled that we have several sessions at this meeting that will dive into the issue from multiple angles. The Academy's focus on AI reinforces the profession's need for a cross-practice forum to discuss and flesh out the implications of the changes and trends impacting us and the public, whether that's AI or other major issues of our time.
Indeed, just last month, the Board of Directors established a new subcommittee on artificial intelligence.
As the eve of a U.S. presidential and congressional election year draws closer, you can bet that other policy issues will emerge in debates, proposals, and legislative and regulatory activity that will benefit from the perspectives of the Academy and its many volunteer committees. Whether it be about climate change, AI, health insurance, retirement, inflation and the economy, cyber or another issue, the Academy is working to help the decision makers be better informed. Many ongoing issues and questions benefit from our attention, such as our work with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the National Council of Insurance Legislators.
To borrow some themes from ChatGPT, effectively engaging in these issues and efforts is our "call to action" and we must do it in a "forward-looking" way that both takes account of the past and embraces change. Answering that call means that we must ensure that the Academy works well for you-- today's audience who spans the spectrum from seasoned professionals to fresh faces, but also all of our members and volunteers, as well as the diverse public we serve that rightly has high expectations of the profession. That is top of my mind as I begin my service as your President. Keeping our focus on our mission -- to serve the public and the actuarial profession - is essential for all of us, actuaries and the public, to understand, or to remember, the valuable and unique expertise our profession provides on the issues that impact us every day.
Already, there are numerous initiatives underway at the Academy to deploy data, technology, and the talents of our volunteers and staff in new ways to better accomplish that mission. Those internal initiatives range from:
better tailoring and targeting of content to make it more accessible and relevant to you on our website and in publications and webinars.
project management tools that make our service more efficient and ensure the critical work of our policy committees is timely for stakeholders needing an objective view on the issues.
new formats for engaging stakeholders with volunteers exploring topics that require further education, debate and discussion, and contribute to more networking opportunities, like the health equity symposium that is taking place later this week.
and plans for a new learning management system for providing enhanced learning opportunities in a variety of formats to suit your needs while also better tracking and earning continuing education credit.
As my term unfolds, I'll be sharing more about the fruits of these efforts, highlighting the impactful outcomes of our public policy and professionalism work both in emerging areas like AI and our on-going interfaces with various regulators.
Always with the Academy's and my focus on you as members and volunteers to sustain a strong profession into the future.
Thank you for your trust and confidence and I look forward to connecting or re-connecting with you during the annual meeting and in the months to come.