Episode 4: Revolutionizing Workers' Comp Education with Bob Wilson

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Episode 4: Revolutionizing Workers' Comp Education with Bob Wilson

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In the latest episode of Forecasting Success, host Ryan Brannan talks with Bob Wilson, the president of WorkCompCollege.com, about the intricacies of workers’ compensation. Wilson introduces his training platform that uniquely integrates biopsychosocial elements to enhance recovery by considering physical, psychological, and social factors. The discussion also covers the Texas workers’ compensation model, which Wilson praises for its intellectual integrity and competitive edge, and explores the option of non-subscription that sets Texas apart in the industry.

The conversation broadens to include the roles of organizations like Kids’ Chance of America in supporting families affected by workplace injuries through educational scholarships.

Wilson addresses the evolving role of artificial intelligence in the sector, dispelling fears about AI replacing jobs and suggesting that the real advantage lies with those adept at utilizing AI to augment decision-making processes.

The episode wraps up with Wilson sharing personal anecdotes about his experiences with AI tools such as ChatGPT and DALL·E, demonstrating their practical applications in projects like creating logos.

This episode offers a blend of deep industry insights and a look into the future implications of technology in workers’ compensation.

Ryan Brannan (00:00:06) Hello. Good afternoon. Welcome back to another episode of Forecasting Success. I’m your host, Ryan Brannan, with you again as usual, and want to say thank you to ARAWC for being our title sponsor. And I’m very excited about today’s guest. I’ve known him for a long time. I consider him to be a good friend, Bob Wilson, who is all over the map when it comes to workers comp based out of Florida.
Bob Wilson (00:00:34) Are you saying I’m inconsistent? Is that it? Basically, yeah.
Ryan Brannan (00:00:37) I’m saying. I’m saying you’ve been around a lot, and you’re constantly being requested for doing speaking engagements and hearing about everything that’s happening and all the trends. So thank you for being with us.
Bob Wilson (00:00:47) Well, thanks for the invitation, Brian. I appreciate it. Although I didn’t know you called this forecasting success, which means I really have no idea why I’m here.
Ryan Brannan (00:00:54) I don’t really know why you’re here either. No, that’s true.
Bob Wilson (00:00:56) I was in the neighborhood.
Ryan Brannan (00:00:57) Yeah. There you go. No, we do appreciate you taking time to come in and speak with us and happy to do it, and it’s always a pleasure. So, for those of you that are unfamiliar with Bob Wilson, he has done pretty much everything under the sun when it comes to workers comp. And let’s see, when we first met, you were running workerscompensation.com dot, right? Yeah. And. But now you’re doing something totally different.
Bob Wilson (00:01:23) Right now I’m President of workcompcollege.com
Ryan Brannan (00:01:27) Okay. What does that mean?
Bob Wilson (00:01:31) I didn’t know you were gonna start off with a hard question.
Ryan Brannan (00:01:33) Oh, what is it that you do for a living, Bob? I don’t know. As little as possible.
Bob Wilson (00:01:38) As little as possible. Now, where Comp College is a new training concept and school that we’ve opened in partnership, Don Abrams and Mark Pugh, RMI, two partners. It started with a new certification, workers recovery professional certification. We wanted a training program. While there are good training programs available in workers comp, there wasn’t really one that focused or included biopsychosocial elements to train people to understand how to communicate properly, to better understand what’s going on in the mind of the injured worker. There’s so many things that can. Those are the things. If you have a claim that goes, if you’re doing everything you’re supposed to and manage a claim properly and it still goes off the rails, it’s probably because you were busy treating the elbow or what was ever hurt, and we don’t pay attention to what’s going on here, and we’re trying to get the industry to focus more on that to get better outcomes. Basically, we started with that. We’ve come up with several certifications. We have new custom programs. It’s really taken off in areas we didn’t originally anticipate, even to the point now where we are hosting for one particular company. We’re hosting a complete virtual training center that includes select elements of our coursework and programs, plus hosting their coursework for their employees for onboarding and continuing training. So that we’re trying to bring a little more or democratize some of the training content for the workers comp industry.
Ryan Brannan (00:03:01) You’ve only been doing this a short amount of time.
Bob Wilson (00:03:03) Yeah, just coming up on, well, really two years since we formed the company, about a year and a half that we’ve actually been online. And in that time we’ve got 140 some courses. We’ve done 190 lecture videos. It’s all virtual, it’s all self paced. But we have 500 students in the school. We have 150 people who have earned our certification. So, excuse me, 170 people who have earned our certifications so far. So we’re pretty happy with the response we’re getting.
Ryan Brannan (00:03:34) Yeah. And is that translating into the successes that you were hoping to have?
Bob Wilson (00:03:38) Well, it is when you start something new, and especially when you come up with a new certification that’s brand new. Part of the success is you’ve got to get a certain amount of people through the school system, and you’ve got to get that feedback, which has been very, very positive. But, yeah, it is translating to the success. We’re a startup operation.
Ryan Brannan (00:03:55) I mean, I’m not.
Bob Wilson (00:03:56) I haven’t bought a boat yet. You know, I haven’t gone out and bought a new boat, but we’re really happy with where it’s going. You know, even here in Texas, the office of Injured Employee Council, the OIEC, has 72 people in our program. 55 of the 56 of them have completed the workers recovery professional program. They’re using our program to meet state mandated training requirements for their agency. And we’ve got people from SORM, State Office of Risk Management here in Texas. So we’ve been. We’ve had pretty good, decent success, particularly here in Texas, which is why I keep coming back to Texas, you know? Yeah, well, that, and people invite me.
Ryan Brannan (00:04:31) There you go.
Bob Wilson (00:04:32) God knows why.
Ryan Brannan (00:04:34) Well, truth be told, I noticed that you were speaking at the insurance council of Texas event tomorrow.
Bob Wilson (00:04:39) I am.
Ryan Brannan (00:04:40) And so I asked you when you were coming in and if we could get this done, so, yep, it’s a testament to your knowledge and your abilities to be willing to fly places and speak to them about the successes you’ve had.
Bob Wilson (00:04:51) Well, it happened, and it’s interesting because the topic tomorrow at the program, I’m on a panel with Troy Haley, who’s the administrator of Tennessee’s workers computers comp.
Ryan Brannan (00:05:02) And he took over after Abby retired, right?
Bob Wilson (00:05:04) He took over, yeah, after, after Abby retired. And my buddy Sam McMurray, who’s a active in the self insured community here in Texas, he’s on the panel, and we’re really talking. Albert Betts is going to be moderating, and the topic is, why does Texas workers comp work? And so apparently they thought I had something to say about it, so.
Ryan Brannan (00:05:25) Well, actually, that’s really, I’m glad that you brought that up, because that is a topic that’s very interesting to a lot of our viewers of this podcast, considering most of them are, well, pretty much everybody’s in the workers comp space in some capacity, and a lot of them are in the Texas non subscription space. I know Abby was not a big fan of non subscription when she was in Tennessee. I’d be curious to see what Mr. Haley has to say. But. And you’ve had some different opinions on.
Bob Wilson (00:05:58) Opinions, opinions on the subject? Yeah, it’s true. I have been, I was known to be a pretty vocal opponent of the, what was called the Oklahoma opt out experiment. I think that there were some fundamental issues and concerns there. I’m not really a critic of Texas non subscription. I actually think personally, Texas non subscription is, I’ll call it intellectually honest, because the Texas doesn’t afford exclusive remedy to people who are not, you’re exposed. And that exposure gives a different emphasis to, if you’re going to be a non subscriber to protecting your interests and your assets. So you’re probably, in my mind, would do a little better job than if perhaps you’re given exclusive remedy, which they had in Oklahoma, and not have to do that. So, yeah, I’ve had some opinions on it, and I’m sure some of your people watching me, they wonder what I’m doing here.
Ryan Brannan (00:07:00) Yeah, they might. In full disclosure, for everybody watching, I did let him know that ARAWC was our title sponsor prior to bringing him over here, and he still came. I credit Bob for that.
Bob Wilson (00:07:11) And I’ve mentioned to you that my attitude has shifted a little bit. And I’ll point to Texas. One of the things I’ll probably mention tomorrow, if you go back 20 or 30 years, the subscription rate in Texas was about 50, 51, 52%, I believe now it’s over 70% after reforms. That tells me the workers comp system in Texas got better and employers were convinced to join that system. You know, they improved it in the nineties. Was it nineties or two thousands when it split it?
Ryan Brannan (00:07:41) The nineties.
Bob Wilson (00:07:41) Nineties. It was in the nineties. But the presence or the ability to not subscribe, in other words, just to not get workers comp, is a competitive value to the workers comp system. So the workers comp system has to be good enough to make people want to come in. Employers have to understand the protections it affords, and it has to actually afford those protections. Not every state does that.
Ryan Brannan (00:08:05) Right.
Bob Wilson (00:08:06) So, yeah, it’s funny. Bring that up.
Ryan Brannan (00:08:09) One of the stories I like to tell is I have a slightly different perspective, I think, than most of the other regulators, mainly because my first entry into the Texas system was when I was the insurance advisor for Governor Perry. Right. And they called me and they said, governor’s getting ready to go to California to try to recruit businesses back to Texas. And one of the things he wants to talk about is the different options that they have for covering their workers.
Bob Wilson (00:08:38) Okay.
Ryan Brannan (00:08:38) And so I learned that the Texas system, if done right, was used to recruit businesses to Texas. Right. And so then when I went over to be the commissioner and I was talking to the other regulators about, you know, what a, what a pain it is to not have companies in their system or how can they, how can we do that in Texas? I thought, well, there’s a reason why the companies are leaving your states to come into our state.
Bob Wilson (00:09:01) Well, yeah, it would seem like being able to encourage business to come from California should be a no brainer. My brother in law lives in San Jose and likes it, but it’s like, why? No idea why you’d want to stay there and be in business there. But, yeah, I think it’s probably one of the attractions that they have here. I mean, every state, it’s really not advertised. Every state has some level of non subscription. There are some exemptions in Florida, if you have four or fewer employees, you don’t have to have workers cop. And that’s a substantial amount of employers in terms of small business people. But Texas is really the only one. Georgia has some provisions that are unique, but it’s really not publicized or widely utilized. Texas is really the only one in the nation, though, that really has that flat out non subscription option. And so it’s interesting to see.
Ryan Brannan (00:09:54) Yeah. And I think part of what makes the Texas model so successful in Texas is. You’re right. The competition. Right. So if, if companies are leaving the system, the system has to adapt.
Bob Wilson (00:10:05) Right.
Ryan Brannan (00:10:06) Where you don’t necessarily have that in other states. But, so, yeah, so, but the topic is interesting. Right. Because every state is always trying to find ways to make their systems better.
Bob Wilson (00:10:16) Right.
Ryan Brannan (00:10:16) And some have unique challenges. Right. So Georgia tried to adopt some of the tort reform measures that were put in place in Texas, and that did not go over well with their trial bar. And ultimately they weren’t able to do that. So each state is different.
Bob Wilson (00:10:33) Oh, yeah, they are. And it’s really interesting to watch because some states, it really depends on who gets the ear of the legislatures, you know? And I know this will be a shock to hear. I’ve got a few friends that are regulators, and I’ve come to appreciate very strongly the role of the regulator in the industry, because the regulators in this country who are appointed by their governors in most situations, can only deal with what the legislature gives them. They have to take whatever sausage comes out of the capital and make it work. And in some states, we see states that attempt reforms. And I wrote a blog years ago calling fixing the fixes of the previous fixers fixes. I mean, you’re constantly trying to modify, and there’s always the world of unintended consequences, you know, the things you don’t think about. And I think that, you know, Texas has seemed to have struck a pretty decent balance. I mean, there’s some issues in Texas. Your, your designated doctor program is a lot of fun right now. I understand.
Ryan Brannan (00:11:31) Yeah. That sounds like a Jeff problem. Not a Ryan problem.
Bob Wilson (00:11:35) Not a Ryan problem. In other words, we don’t care. Move on. Okay.
Ryan Brannan (00:11:38) So. No, no, but you make a good.
Bob Wilson (00:11:41) Point about a Jeff problem.
Ryan Brannan (00:11:42) It’s a Jeff problem. Sorry, Commissioner Nelson, it’s nothing personal, but that’s something. We’re very nice guy. He really is. And he’s doing a great job. And he did a great job. He’s been doing a great job ever since he’s been over there in whatever capacity he’s in. I really, really like watching the stuff come out of the agency that he’s doing.
Bob Wilson (00:12:04) That’s enough. You sucked up enough.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:06) That was good. I was about to go on to Dirk. I was about to make a hole anyway. You’re all doing a great job.
Bob Wilson (00:12:14) Yeah. Wonderful job also.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:16) Please let me come back. No, just, uh. Never. Never.
Bob Wilson (00:12:21) You’re done? Yeah, I’m done.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:22) Yeah, that’s a. It was. I enjoy my time there. I think we had a lot of good wins. Uh, but, you know, when it’s. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Yeah. Yeah. And I think Cassie did a good job, too. Who else can I say?
Bob Wilson (00:12:36) I think you pretty much covered.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:38) Okay. Have I.
Bob Wilson (00:12:38) You haven’t gone back as far as Albert and Rod Bordela. You know, you.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:42) Albert knows he’s never going to be as good as me as I was.
Bob Wilson (00:12:46) That’s because you keep telling him that.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:47) That’s right. Yeah. In fact, when I was talking to him about your panel tomorrow.
Bob Wilson (00:12:52) Yeah.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:52) Which I’m going to be attending, by the way.
Bob Wilson (00:12:53) Oh, are you?
Ryan Brannan (00:12:54) I will be there.
Bob Wilson (00:12:55) Okay. I’ll have to revise some of my comments that if I. Yeah, that’s why.
Ryan Brannan (00:12:59) I told you ahead of time.
Bob Wilson (00:13:00) So you have time to appreciate that.
Ryan Brannan (00:13:01) I’ll go ahead. Yeah, no, it was funny. We were. I was talking with Albert about it, and I was trying to see, you know, kind of what direction he wanted to take the panel before I decided if I was going to attend or not.
Bob Wilson (00:13:16) See if it’s. Make sure it’s worth your time.
Ryan Brannan (00:13:18) Exactly.
Bob Wilson (00:13:19) Thank you, Ryan. I appreciate that. Just the fact that we were there, that wasn’t enough.
Ryan Brannan (00:13:23) Well, I mean, no offense, Bob, but I’ve heard you talk.
Bob Wilson (00:13:26) That’s true. Everyone’s heard me talk.
Ryan Brannan (00:13:27) Yeah. Can’t get me to stop. That’s funny. But no, we were. That conversation devolved at the end to who was the better commissioner.
Bob Wilson (00:13:37) Oh, really?
Ryan Brannan (00:13:37) Yeah. And I asked him, I said, is there a shrine to you at the agency? And he said, no. And I sent him a picture. So one of the current people at the agency used AI to create a shrine with my picture on it. Oh, really? And he says to me, you know, we really thought you did a great job. I’m just not sure why we have to stop here. And, Neil, every morning on our way into work, it was pretty funny.
Bob Wilson (00:14:04) That’s pretty good.
Ryan Brannan (00:14:06) So I’ve got a little bit of mileage out of that.
Bob Wilson (00:14:08) Yeah, yeah. And there were pictures they could create with you, with AI.
Ryan Brannan (00:14:12) Very true, very true. Actually, let’s talk about AI for a minute. Okay. Before we started rolling, you were talking about using AI to introduce your panelists at one of those events?
Bob Wilson (00:14:25) Yeah. You know, at Saka, every year, the Southern association of Workers Compensation. Southern association, workers compensation administrators. They have two major conferences a year, an all committee conference and an annual conference. And I close every session with a session called things that make Bob go.
Ryan Brannan (00:14:41) Hmm.
Bob Wilson (00:14:42) I had some other suggestions for that title, but apparently they were profane, so we stuck.
Ryan Brannan (00:14:46) I’ve been on that panel before.
Bob Wilson (00:14:47) You have been. You have been. We’ve had a good time on that. And this last year, we were there, and one of the sessions prior was talking about AI. I’ve been using AI work. We’re doing some legislative and regulatory summaries for our state specific modules at work comp college. And I just thought I’d go on and just use AI to develop the bios for my guests the next day, the next morning. And it was fascinating. It’s scary, but it was fascinating that I was able to enter their names. And for most of them, it had a pretty good bio of what they’d done in their lives. It just popped up and it wrote it out in a pretty useful format. And then, of course, the one I told you about with Greg Gilbert, where it discovered he, you know, well, before you get there.
Ryan Brannan (00:15:33) So Greg Gilbert filmed one of these with me, but we were at the soccer event in San Antonio, and the production quality was not nearly up to the typical real news pr production quality, mainly cause I was in charge of it, and so it was totally on me. So we’re gonna redo it. He’s actually coming into the studio next week. Is he? And so this would be a good preview for the Greg Gilbert podcast episode.
Bob Wilson (00:15:57) Yeah, you can ask him about his career, because the bio it came up with for him talked about he first learned his customer service traits working as a busboy at the Sizzler Steakhouse. And it went on about that and his radio dj experience, and then it talked about, of course, his actual career. But it was hysterical. It was like, where did this come up with it? But it found it. I asked him, I said, were you a busboy at the Sizzler Steakhouse? He said, yeah, yeah, I was. You can ask. You should open with that. Don’t say anything until you start recording. Say so. I really wanna know what your experience as a busboy at the Sizzler Steakhouse.
Ryan Brannan (00:16:32) I’m gonna do it.
Bob Wilson (00:16:33) He’ll know where it came from.
Ryan Brannan (00:16:34) Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure he’ll know exactly where it came from.
Bob Wilson (00:16:36) Yeah.
Ryan Brannan (00:16:37) Okay. So then from there, you graduated to being a college dj. Can you tell us more about that?
Bob Wilson (00:16:42) Yeah. Really?
Ryan Brannan (00:16:43) No, we don’t wanna hear about your being president of Kids Chance of Texas. We wanna hear more about your radio dj experience. But speaking of which. Yeah, he is the president of Kids Chance in Texas. I noticed you have a kid’s chance pin on.
Bob Wilson (00:16:56) I do, I do. I’m on the board of directors for Kids Chance of America. I’m the secretary on the board. In fact, I’m leaving Austin to fly to Chicago Thursday because the Kids Chance National Conference is up there for three days. Kids Chance is a great organization.
Ryan Brannan (00:17:10) Yeah, I was going to say for those that if you don’t know what kids chance is, this is a great time to let them know because this is an amazing organization.
Bob Wilson (00:17:18) Kids Chance is an organization that provides scholarships and educational opportunities for kids who have a parent who has been seriously injured or killed on the job. And it started in Valdosta, Georgia. One attorney who just got tired of what he called the cycle of poverty, seeing these kids that were, some of them, 15, quitting school and going into the woods to work in the lumber jobs that their fathers just got hurt on, and he wanted to create better educational opportunities for them. And it eventually grew to several states, just really at a grassroots level. They formed Kids Chance of America probably about 12, 13, 13 years ago to help establish best practices with the goal of getting them in all 50 states. And last year we got them in the 50th state, Wyoming was the 50th and. But that organization since 1988 has given over 9000 scholarships, $37 million worth of scholarships and largely supported by the workers comp industry and volunteers in the workers comp industry. I was a founding member and past president of Kids Chance of Florida and I just rolled off that board. We have a planned retirement plan. I’m now emeritus, which means I can still sit around and give my opinion. I just can’t do anything about it. But it’s a good.
Ryan Brannan (00:18:32) Can we build that position just for you?
Bob Wilson (00:18:34) Oh, no. There were several of us that were emeritus now, so, you know, because we were founding board members. But we want to, we’ve actually planned to roll people over on the board just because we want to keep the boards fresh. In fact, the young lady who took my spot, who I recommended, is actually one of our early scholarship recipients.
Ryan Brannan (00:18:51) Oh, really?
Bob Wilson (00:18:51) She’s now out of college and she has, she’s got her master’s and she’s got a career in fish and wildlife in Florida, actually. But we put her on the board. It was great. So it’s an awesome organization, kids chances.
Ryan Brannan (00:19:03) It really is. And that’s a really neat story too for her, that she could go through the program and then come back and be on the board.
Bob Wilson (00:19:08) Well, it is. And there’s actually in Nebraska the president this year, kids chance in Nebraska is a former scholarship recipient.
Ryan Brannan (00:19:14) Wow.
Bob Wilson (00:19:14) So it’s good. A lot of these kids they want to give back. I will tell you, I’ve been able to speak in a number of kids chance functions, galas and scholarship award ceremonies around the country. And I’ve met a lot of these kids, and you hear a lot about what’s going on. Can I show my conservative roots here when I talk about politics?
Ryan Brannan (00:19:33) You’re in Texas, Bob. Thank you.
Bob Wilson (00:19:34) Thank you. You hear about a lot of the stuff going on in colleges these days, the crying zones or the free speech zones or just all the microaggressions and all things that is not these kids. That’s not, these kids have already learned through unfortunate circumstances that life is not fair. And despite some of the things you know, they’ve already dealt with more adversity than most, by the time they’re 18 years old, than most of us will see in our lifetime. And that has made them strong. I mean, they are really tough kids. They’re dedicated. They wanted, they, a lot of them are choosing professions that are somewhat related to what happened to their parents, either in the medical field or the legal field. And they’re committed to having a better life for themselves and their family. They really are terrific opportunity to invest in. If you want to make an investment in kids, do it in kids chance.
Ryan Brannan (00:20:23) Yeah, absolutely. And most of, if not all of our viewers are in Texas, so we do have a kid’s chance of Texas chapter.
Bob Wilson (00:20:32) You do. I would like to say better things about them, but we have a friendly competition between Texas and Florida. Unfortunately, in the number of scholarships issued, they’re actually kicking our butts.
Ryan Brannan (00:20:41) Really?
Bob Wilson (00:20:41) Oh, yeah. They’re, they’re doing in Texas. They’ve been very well supported and funded and they’ve been really good at, it’s a challenge finding the kids. Florida’s got the money and we gave 15 scholarships. I think last year, last summer, probably could have given 30 if we can get ahold of the kids or let them know that it’s out there. And one of the neat things that kids chance of America has done is they have a planning for the future program, which is basically if you’re a claims adjuster or you’re an employer or you have an employee who’s seriously hurt, they’re going to be out for a long time. Even if they can come back to work, if they’ve been out of work for a couple of years, that’s a huge financial drain for someone who’s trying to plan for college for their kids. You can actually register that family or those kids with kids chance of America. I don’t care if they’re two weeks or, you know, they can be 16 weeks or 16 years old. And when they turn 16, they will be referred to the state they lived in where the accident occurred for consideration so that the state can contact them and state organization can contact them and get them to process through a scholarship application.
Ryan Brannan (00:21:45) So.
Bob Wilson (00:21:45) Yeah, really very cool. We’ve got 1100 kids registered across the country so far.
Ryan Brannan (00:21:48) Awesome.
Bob Wilson (00:21:49) Yeah, that’s great.
Ryan Brannan (00:21:50) I remember when we first got the kids chance of Texas chapter. We had a very hard time finding scholarship, potential scholarship recipients.
Bob Wilson (00:21:59) It’s a challenge.
Ryan Brannan (00:22:00) I’m glad to hear that they’re, they’re.
Bob Wilson (00:22:02) Doing, Texas is doing really well, I think. Texas, Texas got a great board. You’ve got, you know, you got Greg, you’ve got Jane Stone, an attorney here in Austin. You got Tom Glasson, who is an industry legend out of Dallas. I don’t want to short anybody. I shouldn’t name names because now I’m going to miss a bunch of people.
Ryan Brannan (00:22:17) Oh, yeah. And you have to say, you have to say you like everybody.
Bob Wilson (00:22:20) I like everyone. I do. I do. You know, so unless they don’t like me, in which case, you know.
Ryan Brannan (00:22:26) So earlier we were talking about AI in context of Greg Gilbert and using AI to do the introductions. But I kind of want to go back to that in that that seems to be a topic that a lot of people are discussing as far as how things might change in the future in our industry with AI or other technological changes. And I know that that’s something you’ve been looking at for a long time.
Bob Wilson (00:22:51) Yeah.
Ryan Brannan (00:22:52) Where do we go?
Bob Wilson (00:22:53) Well, it’s going to be interesting. There are a lot of people scared of AI, and I think one of the phrases I like the best is it’s AI is not going to take your job, but someone who knows how to use AI might.
Ryan Brannan (00:23:03) Yeah.
Bob Wilson (00:23:03) And that’s, that’s the. There are some pitfalls with AI. I’m most concerned not with artificial intelligence, but the real intelligence around it and how we decide to use it. You know, I know out there somewhere, there’s got to be people in a C suite somewhere drooling at the fact that they get rid of all their adjusters and just take everything automated and they will be totally screwed because we’re a human business, we deal with human beings and we can’t lose that connection. However, AI could be very useful in identifying red flags in a case. It could be very useful in help directing, you know, predicting the direction of particular claims based on historical data. I think as a tool, it will make people much more efficient, but we have to use it properly. And there are some, there’s a guy who spoke at NCCI’s annual issues symposium a few years ago, I think he was from Stanford, and he was talking about technology in general and AI, but he talked about, and for AI, he talked about artificial stupidity, which was the use of that technology, the use of the artificial intelligence systems without proper guardrails to help reach the final decision. In other words, AI should never make the decision. It should only advise you as to what some of the facts may be. And sometimes in its early stages, and it’s changed a lot, even in the last year, year, and some that I’ve been using it, sometimes it can be very frustrating. I’ll deal with OpenAI’s chat GPT, or I deal with Claude AI. There’s perplexity, there’s a number of them, but let’s just talk about chat GPT, which a lot of people are using. I find on any given day, chat GPT is an incredible, unbelievable creation. Or a petulant child who doesn’t want to do what it’s told or doesn’t want to cooperate. And some days it’s an employee two weeks from retirement who just doesn’t give a crap anymore because it starts making stuff up and just does. I’ll be working with it for 2 hours on certain things, is doing great. And then they’ll ask for something and they’ll say, I’m sorry, I’m not able to do that. No, you’ve been doing it for 2 hours.
Ryan Brannan (00:25:11) Of course you can do it.
Bob Wilson (00:25:12) Just start saying, nope, can’t do it anymore. It’s just, it’s funny, some days it’s just got a bad attitude.
Ryan Brannan (00:25:17) I’ve had that experience. I actually pay money to use the chat GPT 4.0. I do too, and I don’t know why I pay for the service. I mean, every time I try to get it to do something, it’ll get like, I’ll say, no, I want the, I want the information organized this way. So like topic, you know, subtopic notes. And then like, okay, I’ll get it. And then they’ll do it right back. And I say, now do that for all of it.
Bob Wilson (00:25:43) It’ll be like, no, yeah, I know, I know, I’ve done that. I’ve done that. Or I’ve even had it say, you know, like, I’ll give it a web link because the 4.0 has Internet access or 3.5 doesn’t. And I’ll give it a web link and it’ll analyze something, and then the very next one. Next link. I’m sorry. I’m not capable of accessing. I.
Ryan Brannan (00:26:02) You just did it.
Bob Wilson (00:26:03) Do I need to put more quarters in? I mean, what do I need to do here? It drives you crazy, but it is.
Ryan Brannan (00:26:08) I spent an entire afternoon one time, trying to get it to format the way I wanted it. Format? Yeah. And at the end of the afternoon, I just. I looked at myself, I said, I would have been done with this 2 hours ago if I just done it.
Bob Wilson (00:26:20) Oh, I know. And some days it’s like that. And there’s actually the. The graphic version of chat GPT Dolly. It’s called Dahl. D a l D a l l E. Probably called Dolly because, you know, Salvador Dolly. I assume you’re playing a name off. I don’t know what it would stand for, but it’ll create graphics. And if you want to do a logo, it can create a logo. It’s actually pretty cool. Can’t spell for crap. Sorry, I just can’t. It’s like you tell it. I want. You know, we have a one of a. We do online registration for a lot of state conferences through IWCF and all the soccer events. We do all that online through a site called workcompevent.com.
Ryan Brannan (00:26:56) Okay.
Bob Wilson (00:26:56) That’s workcompevent.com. Okay.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:00) You’re allowed to plug your own stuff.
Bob Wilson (00:27:02) Shameless.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:02) Plug here.
Bob Wilson (00:27:03) Right.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:04) By the way, thank you ARAWC, again, for being our title sponsor.
Bob Wilson (00:27:11) Thank you, ARAWC, for being a title sponsor. Can I say that you did probably get edited out.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:16) No, that’s gonna be. That’s actually gonna be the only part of this whole thing.
Bob Wilson (00:27:21) Yeah. Selectively edited.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:23) It’s gonna be 30 seconds of you just saying thank you, ARAWC, over and.
Bob Wilson (00:27:27) Over again in the Max Max headroom type voice.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:33) Can we do that?
Bob Wilson (00:27:34) I don’t know. We could definitely do that. Anyway, Ziggy didn’t know he was gonna.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:43) Be a part of this.
Bob Wilson (00:27:44) No, he didn’t. You should just bring a chair.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:45) Yeah.
Bob Wilson (00:27:47) What the hell was I talking about? No, we were looking at. I was looking at creating a new logo for.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:52) Thank you, Ziggy, and real news pr for all of that you do to help this show be successful.
Bob Wilson (00:27:56) There he is.
Ryan Brannan (00:27:56) There he is.
Bob Wilson (00:27:58) Oh, gosh. This is like a micro podcast now where you see the producer and everything.
Ryan Brannan (00:28:01) Oh, great. I didn’t know we could do that.
Bob Wilson (00:28:03) Yeah, that’s awesome.
Ryan Brannan (00:28:04) That’s cool. We should have just had the camera on him.
Bob Wilson (00:28:06) I think we should. Can we go back to Ziggy? Nice setup back there. I like the drywall touch.
Ryan Brannan (00:28:14) That’s good. That’s nice.
Bob Wilson (00:28:17) But yeah, I was trying, I’d say, you know, we wanted a logo for workcompevent.com, and actually the one we now use was generated by AI, but. But every time it tried to spell it, it couldn’t spell work comp event to save its life. And it’s not only that, the imagine, the meta imagine, is another image generator none of them can spell. It’s like, why can’t you? I mean, it’s like, it’s funny to watch. They just really do try it sometime. You’ll be amazed at how stupid those things actually are. So, but anyway, AI is going to be. I realize we veered way off your original question, but AI is.
Ryan Brannan (00:28:49) But not really. I mean, you’re talking about how AI is used for your automated [email protected]. Dot.
Bob Wilson (00:28:56) Work comp event for our [email protected]. Dot. And we have a state, and I.
Ryan Brannan (00:29:01) Was talking about how AI can be used in the workers comp world.
Bob Wilson (00:29:05) Well, an example, we’re using it work comp college. We’re generating state specific training modules to go along with our other certification programs so someone can subscribe to learn about the rules and forms processing and all the things, the nuances of each individual state. But one of the things we’re doing to add additional value is we’re actually running state statutes and regulations through AI and using summaries, getting summary descriptions of them with keyword searchability and then links back to the original source online. That’s just really to add more resources and value for people who want to know more about the system, you know, and, but AI, we can produce, you know, we can analyze an entire state’s. If AI is in the mood, we can. If we can do an entire state’s statutes in an afternoon. Right. And we could never do that. I had my old company, I had a team of five people that just did nothing but analyze the state statutes and rules and go through. So it’s really, it’s going to be an amazing efficiency tool, but it’s got a ways to go.
Ryan Brannan (00:30:04) Yeah, it does. So I agree. So speaking of ways to go, just given the fact that you’ve been doing comparative analytics on different states and how they operate and the changes that have happened over the years, where do you see this going in the future? I think at one point I was on one of your panels, either it was one of your panels, or you were also on the panel with me, but I had mentioned something about how people were concerned that robots were going to take over their jobs, and you said somebody’s going to have to fix the robots when they break.
Bob Wilson (00:30:37) Well, that’s true.
Ryan Brannan (00:30:39) I thought that was interesting because it’s not that the jobs are necessarily gone, it’s that they’re going to, they change.
Bob Wilson (00:30:45) Well, and if you look at previous technological revolutions, if you would, or evolution, new technology has eliminated certain jobs, but it’s also created more jobs. I mean, you know, when the automobile came around. Yes. The guy who tended the horse and buggy and the guy who hooved the horses, I don’t even remember. What would they call them?
Ryan Brannan (00:31:06) I don’t know. You’re a Texas. What a ferrier.
Bob Wilson (00:31:11) A farrier. So the farrier went away, but you had mechanics, you had engineers, you had gas station, you had all these other jobs. Think about all the jobs today that surround the automobile, and you’ll see that with computers. Computers technically took jobs. I mean, who has an administrative assistant these days? Very few people do, but it created other jobs. So it is a matter of keeping your skill sets up. I encourage everyone to get a little more familiar with AI, to go to chat, GPT, you can use 3.5 free. You don’t have to pay for it and just play with it and see what some of the things it can do and some of the things it can’t do. You’ll find the limitations of it, but I think it’s, it’s, it is going to be fascinating. Some of the things they can do. I think it’s, it’s, it’s got some really bad negative potential in terms of deep fakes. We’re already seeing things with deep fakes and other things which will make the legal aspect of everything we do a little more difficult. Is this true or is it not? Is it real or is it a deep fake? You know, and so I think we’ve got to be able to try and keep up with it. That’ll be a challenge.
Ryan Brannan (00:32:20) Yeah, excellent point. Let’s see.
Bob Wilson (00:32:27) But we run out of things to talk about.
Ryan Brannan (00:32:29) We’re done. Do you have anything you want to talk about?
Bob Wilson (00:32:33) Well, I think I’ve talked about. Let me see. I’ve talked about work comp college. I’ve talked about work event. Got to mention that. Wasn’t planning to. No, I think we’ve been good. I think it’s going to be interesting. Let me ask you, Texas has got a system that’s pretty stable. And working from a workers comp perspective, you do have some players in Texas who are trying to have it. Maybe you can’t talk about it because in your position, this law get edited out. Who are trying to get the fact they want to be able to settle claims, they want to be able to settle. Medical employers don’t like open ended liability. Will that ever happen? It keeps getting shot down here. Maybe they aren’t hiring the right consultants to help shepherd through the legislature.
Ryan Brannan (00:33:19) Well, they’re definitely not, I can tell you that. And, you know, this came up a few years ago for the first time, and essentially, I don’t really know who they hired to file the bill, but, you know, essentially, it was a lot of out of. It was a lot of out of state people that were trying to get the bill brought to Texas. And a long time ago through the courts and everything, that, that, I mean, that became like a big no no. Right. And so there was no lead up to it. There was no conversation with the different associations and trade groups as to why this was good. Right. And. And as a result of that, they had to go shop the bill all over the Capitol and ended up filing, getting somebody to file the bill on the deadline the last day you could file the legislation. And then, you know, I don’t even think it got a hearing. Uh, and, you know, it didn’t have.
Bob Wilson (00:34:10) A champion in the house.
Ryan Brannan (00:34:12) It wasn’t a champion anywhere near the building. Yeah. Uh, I mean, it was, uh. It’s not the right way to go about doing business in Texas. Right. Uh, and so it had a. It had a rough, shaky start, to say the least. And I don’t think it’s gone very far since, uh, you know, that legislator that filed the bill is no longer here. Yeah. He’s back home in Houston. He’s retired from the legislature. So there’s, you know, they’re gonna have to fight somebody to pick it up. And at this point, I don’t know who that would be. Now, that could all change in a minute. I mean, our legislature is turning over. Leadership change is very much a real possibility. And so depending on if there is leadership change and new chairman come in, and you could always shop ideas to new chairman, who knows? I don’t have a crystal ball on that. But it didn’t. It didn’t get a warm reception initially.
Bob Wilson (00:35:09) It’s interesting. Texas. I live in Florida, and I was watching, and I see this. I say this as a red state guy. You know, I’ll tell you, I lived during the pandemic in the free state of Florida.
Ryan Brannan (00:35:19) Okay.
Bob Wilson (00:35:20) That’s where I live. Love my governor. Yeah, you did a great job. He did a wonderful job. I’ve never been so happy to be in Florida in my life as I was through the pandemic, I think. But I was worried. You know, I see a lot of California plates, a lot of New York plates, a lot of people moving to Florida. I’ve never seen growth like I’ve seen right now. And you’re experienced the same thing here. Same thing. And I thought, it’s going to take our state more purple. More purple. We were really on the edge, and the last election just shocked the hell out of me. We even, republicans even won Miami Dade, which they haven’t done for 50 years. Is your trend here in Texas going? No, it’s. You’re not headed anywhere. You’re still. You’re a relatively conservative state.
Ryan Brannan (00:36:03) Yeah. I mean, we’re sitting across from the republican governor’s house.
Bob Wilson (00:36:07) We are. But it is in Austin.
Ryan Brannan (00:36:11) It is for now. There’s legislation that’s been filed last two sessions to remove this area from the city of Austin. Really? Really.
Bob Wilson (00:36:19) Wow.
Ryan Brannan (00:36:19) Yeah, it’s starting to gain traction. They’ve actually had to use the DP’s troops to assist the Austin police because there’s just not enough of them.
Bob Wilson (00:36:29) Yeah.
Ryan Brannan (00:36:30) So the state versus Austin is a continual battle. Interesting. So, yeah, they may not be in Austin. We’ll see. I mean, I think that bill was initially filed two sessions ago. It was kind of just a shot across Austin’s bell, but everybody looked at the bill and went, well, maybe that might be not a bad idea. I think they’re gonna call it the capital district of the state of Texas.
Bob Wilson (00:36:54) Really?
Ryan Brannan (00:36:54) Yeah.
Bob Wilson (00:36:55) Interesting.
Ryan Brannan (00:36:55) So keep an eye out for that one. Speaking of potential legislation, what might change.
Bob Wilson (00:36:59) Interesting. Okay, I’ll watch for that.
Ryan Brannan (00:37:01) Yeah, but no, so there’s definitely a conservative majority in the state. And I think to your point, a lot of people were concerned with the amount of Californians moving in. But if you look at the statewide elected officials, the Californians are actually voting more republican than the native Texas.
Bob Wilson (00:37:25) That’s what we found in the people moving to Florida. Were moving there for very specific reasons to escape the taxes and some of the policies of their blue states. I’ve met a few of them in Florida, and they’re generally. Yeah, they’re voting conservatively.
Ryan Brannan (00:37:42) Yeah. So it’s interesting.
Bob Wilson (00:37:44) It is interesting because you kind of worry about that happening, that going. Taking a purple or something. I do, anyway.
Ryan Brannan (00:37:49) Yeah.
Bob Wilson (00:37:50) I guess if I was a blue state guy, I wouldn’t worry about it, but.
Ryan Brannan (00:37:52) Yeah. Yeah.
Bob Wilson (00:37:54) What can I say?
Ryan Brannan (00:37:57) On that note, on that happy note, you got any good stories from you could tell in here that I could tell here?
Bob Wilson (00:38:06) Probably not.
Ryan Brannan (00:38:09) All right, well, let me see.
Bob Wilson (00:38:10) When’s the last time I saw you? Let me see. It was in. I was here in Austin. It was out at the hill country.
Ryan Brannan (00:38:15) Yeah, that’s right. Yeah.
Bob Wilson (00:38:17) Now we can’t talk about that.
Ryan Brannan (00:38:18) No. Can’t talk about that. You know, I actually. It was kind of funny. I hadn’t been to a soccer event, really, since I left. Probably.
Bob Wilson (00:38:27) Yeah.
Ryan Brannan (00:38:28) Three, four years probably since I’ve been to one. Right. And I walked in and I was like, who are these people? Don’t even know who they are.
Bob Wilson (00:38:34) There’s been a little change.
Ryan Brannan (00:38:35) There’s been some change. I mean, I’ve been a little bit tongue in cheek, but, you know, I did not realize, realize Abby had retired, for example, until. No, she wasn’t there.
Bob Wilson (00:38:44) And Carl’s retired. Yeah, we’ve had a few retirements now. People. People are leaving. I don’t know. It’s funny, I watch, I’ve got a lot of friends that have been retiring and I don’t understand why until I look in the mirror.
Ryan Brannan (00:38:55) Oh, yeah.
Bob Wilson (00:38:56) I’m not 30 anymore. I keep forgetting.
Ryan Brannan (00:38:59) I thought you were saying that everybody’s retiring from the field because you’re everywhere.
Bob Wilson (00:39:04) No, that isn’t what I’m saying at all.
Ryan Brannan (00:39:06) Oh, Bob. I can’t get away from Bob.
Bob Wilson (00:39:07) You’re saying that maybe it’s easier to quit and go away. He never leaves.
Ryan Brannan (00:39:13) I obviously can’t say that because I asked you to come on here today. That’s true.
Bob Wilson (00:39:16) But I haven’t left yet. So you haven’t figured out how to.
Ryan Brannan (00:39:18) Get rid of me. On that note, yeah. Thank you.
Bob Wilson (00:39:22) Thank you.
Ryan Brannan (00:39:22) No, no. But actually, we probably should wrap it up and. But I do want to say thank you very much for coming.
Bob Wilson (00:39:28) Thank you.
Ryan Brannan (00:39:28) Always a pleasure.
Bob Wilson (00:39:29) I appreciate it, sir. Enjoyed it.
Ryan Brannan (00:39:31) Enjoyed it as well. And thank you for joining us. I always love getting a chance to catch up with Bob Wilson. He knows so much about the industry. He’s doing great things for the industry and particularly with kids chance of America. And looking forward to Greg. Next time we can talk about kids chance of Texas and his college D Day Sizzler Steakhouse. Very excited. I don’t know if we can top this, but it’ll be pretty exciting. So with that, thank you very much, and we’ll see you on the next episode. Up close.

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