Well, obviously I went here with this:
A future in which human workers are replaced by machines is about to become a reality at an insurance firm in Japan, where more than 30 employees are being laid off and replaced with an artificial intelligence system that can calculate payouts to policyholders.It's not HAL 9000 by any stretch, but we're going to see more and more "thinking" jobs displaced by tailored AIs, me, um, thinks, and it's going to happen faster than many people imagine. I can tell you right now that everything my remaining colleagues—for a big fraction of their functions has been automated already—my colleagues at the BDS International Division do today could be accomplished as well, perhaps better, by a tailored AI.
Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance believes it will increase productivity by 30% and see a return on its investment in less than two years. The firm said it would save about 140m yen (£1m) a year after the 200m yen (£1.4m) AI system is installed this month. Maintaining it will cost about 15m yen (£100k) a year.
The move is unlikely to be welcomed, however, by 34 employees who will be made redundant by the end of March.
The system is based on IBM’s Watson Explorer, which, according to the tech firm, possesses “cognitive technology that can think like a human”, enabling it to “analyse and interpret all of your data, including unstructured text, images, audio and video”.
The technology 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, according to the Mainichi Shimbun.