AI takeover: Japanese insurance firm replaces 34 workers with IBM Watson

AI takeover: Japanese insurance firm replaces 34 workers with IBM Watson

by Jessica Goodfellow, The Drum

While artificial intelligence has altruistic roots, intended to make everyday tasks easier and remove the possibility of human error, news this week that a Japanese insurance firm is making 34 employees redundant and replacing them with IBM Watson technology hints at a darker reality that could see human beings in administrative jobs become obsolete.

Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance believes the move will improve operating efficiency and increase productivity by 30%. The implementation of the AI system is expensive, costing 200m yen ($1.7m) to install plus a yearly running cost of 15m yen ($130,000). However, the company believes this will lead to savings of over 140m yen ($1.2m) and it will see a return on its investment in less than two years.

The system is based on IBM’s Watson Explorer, a cognitive search and content analysis platform which claims “cognitive technology that can think like a human” and can analyse and interpret all data, including unstructured text, images, audio and video, according to the tech company.

The technology will replace members of the company’s payment assessment-related department, which as of March 2015 had 131 employees.

Read the full article here…

Leave a Reply