According to The Guardian, Japanese carrier Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance is replacing 34 employees with a system that is based on IBM’s Watson Explorer. It is said that the system “possesses cognitive technology that can think like a human”, and will “analyze and interpret all of [their] data, including unstructured text, images, audio and video”. It will be able to read “tens of thousands of medical certificates and factor in the length of hospital stays, medical histories and any surgical procedures before calculating payouts”. Fukoku is saying that final payments will not be issued until the results are reviewed and approved by a human associate.
The company believes the move will increase productivity by 30% and provide them a full return on investment in less than two years and expects to have the system in place and running by the end of March, 2017.
The Guardian also reports that Dai-Ichi Life Insurance has already introduced a Watson-based system to assess payments – although it has not cut staff numbers – and Japan Post Insurance is interested in introducing a similar setup.
Kevin Deuschle has been a partner with the firm since 2012 and is the Chair of the firm’s Information Technology Practice Management committee, including the firm’s Committee on Digital Ethics. Kevin has also been the editor of the firm’s blog since its creation in 2009.