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Allstate NI Cognitive Automation Incubator (ACAI)

All industries face imminent and substantial disruption by digital technologies and business models. This presents significant threats, as well as opportunities for the technology and insurance industry.

Allstate is embracing these opportunities to leverage the latest cognitive approaches in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to surpass the competition.

Machine Learning has been around for decades, however, a perfect storm of cheaper, more powerful computational processing, growing volumes and varieties of available data and affordable data storage has caused ML to have a major resurgence in the last few years.

Allstate has an extensive range of data available and this continues to increase exponentially.

To maximize the opportunities this data provides, requires a new team. The new Allstate NI Cognitive Automation Incubator team will use ML technologies to transform this data and provide meaningful insights. The team will house employees in an immersive learning environment across a number of related disciplines.

The ACAI incubator will allow us to:

  • Research cognitive analytics and emerging technologies
    • including Robotics Process Automation [RPA], Chatbot Technologies, NLP and Machine Learning techniques
  • Run Proof of Concepts
  • Incubate and Develop Prototypes
  • Nurture Innovative Solutions for Allstate globally
  • Expose insights held within Allstate data


  • Identify promising new technologies before they go mainstream through collaboration with our stakeholders including Allstate advanced analytics group — Data, Discovery & Decision Science [D3], Allstate Cognitive COE and our academic partners
  • To provide a low risk environment to explore products both inside and outside the US market
  • Upskill employees in cognitive techniques through immersive learning and exposure to real business problems
  • Share this cognitive knowledge across the Allstate enterprise


  • 'Value add' to new products or service development
  • Identification of IP provides us with an opportunity to shape the future of the insurance industry and be at the forefront of innovative products in the market place
  • Increase data science skills within delivery teams

Resources will stay in the ACAI environment for approximately 12-18 months before graduating. Then the resources will lead the way in building a community of citizen data scientists, thus expanding the influence of data science disciplines across the Allstate organization. The needs of the Allstate business will be better represented through utilization of these resources, which will allow for greater opportunities around data insights to be identified.

Innovation will be nurtured through combining strategy, real business problems and culture with allowing people to test, prototype and learn every day in a low risk environment.

For Allstate, digital innovation will be the cornerstone for future value creation. The ACAI team will be at the forefront of this and will implement coherent and effective strategies at the Allstate business-unit and enterprise level.

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