Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Is IBM Watson replacing claim adjusters a watershed for AI?
lThe news is awash about IBM’s Watson Explorer cognitive ‘artificial intelligence’ platform being used by Japanese insurer Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance (FMLI), to automate the work of insurance claim adjusters (see here and here).
Apparently FMLI is laying off 34 out of its 131 payment assessment staff, who deal with activities like checking medical notes, insurance contracts, and other information relevant to calculating insurance payouts. These are professionally qualified people.
Until now, most examples of AI in business processes are where the platform is being used alongside people, to learn from and improve the business process, such as in know your customer (KYC) programmes, financial reporting, or customer communications. Robotic process automation (RPA) is a different matter entirely. Here swathes of low-level back office jobs are already being removed by systems that can mimic human-computer inputs.