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New Here, or "News Picks?"
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.

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.
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.

New If you look at what insurance adjusters do, much of that can be automated
have applicant file a online claim form, fax or upload documentation, use standard criteria to settle claims and also install outliers for fraud detection. The amount of fraud may rise but the savings of salaries would probably exceed that loss.
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman
New Mind you (heh, heh)
...automated subroutines in the insurance industry are never going to give us Charles Ives’ symphonies or Wallace Stevens’ poetry.
Of Mere Being

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze decor,

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird's fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

New Correct, can AI create beauty? unknown.
"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman
New To clarify
I don't think it's a stretch to imagine an AI creating "beauty." Even at today's state of the art I'm sure a properly configured AI could produce digitally or even, with some fine-grained robotic work, with paint on canvas, an original painting in, say, the impressionist style that would be regarded as beautiful by most who saw it. Would the AI itself experience the work as "beauty?" Today, not by a long shot, although I'm guessing that it would be fairly easy to equip "Watson" to evaluate the relative appeal to the Teeming Millions of a canvas by Francis Bacon and one by, say, Monet. That's obviously a long way from wiring a genuine aesthetic sensibility into a server farm.

I'm reasonably confident that whatever prodigies of electronic cognition we may see in the coming years, however, it is likely that our electronic cobblers will stick to their lasts, and that a dedicated community of Japanese claims adjustment algorithms will not leave off calculating benefits to compose haiku or to arrange rock gardens.

Expand Edited by rcareaga Jan. 5, 2017, 05:37:17 PM EST
New Sic transit gzornenplatz, y'all..
     Here, or "News Picks?" - (rcareaga) - (6)
         If you look at what insurance adjusters do, much of that can be automated - (boxley) - (5)
             Mind you (heh, heh) - (rcareaga) - (4)
                 Correct, can AI create beauty? unknown. -NT - (boxley) - (3)
                     To clarify - (rcareaga) - (2)
                         What if they don't like insurance? - (drook) - (1)
                             Sic transit gzornenplatz, y'all.. -NT - (Ashton)

Messing with brain chemistry is not something to be lightly considered.
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