Very risky business: the pros and cons of insurance companies embracing artificial intelligence

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The enabling technology for insurers to use AI is the ‘ecosystem’ of sensors known as the internet of things.

It’s a new day not very far in the future. You wake up; your wristwatch has recorded how long you’ve slept, and monitored your heartbeat and breathing. You drive to work; car sensors track your speed and braking. You pick up some breakfast on your way, paying electronically; the transaction and the calorie content of your meal are recorded.

Then you have a car accident. You phone your insurance company. Your call is answered immediately. The voice on the other end knows your name and amiably chats to you about your pet cat and how your favourite football team did on the weekend.

You’re talking to a chat-bot. The reason it “knows” so much about you is because the insurance company is using artificial intelligence to scrape information about you from social media. It knows a lot more besides, because you’ve agreed to let it monitor your personal devices in exchange for cheaper insurance premiums.

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Automation, New Morality and a ‘Global Useless Class’

LONDON — What will our future look like — not in a century but in a mere two decades?

Terrifying, if you’re to believe Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli historian and author of “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus,” a pair of audacious books that offer a sweeping history of humankind and a forecast of what lies ahead: an age of algorithms and technology that could see us transformed into “super-humans” with godlike qualities.

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Overweight Kids Get Less Help From the Family With Buying a Car

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Students with an average BMI of 23 received assistance from parents to purchase a car.

Parents may be less willing to shell out the cash to help their child buy a car if that child is overweight or obese, new research shows.  The findings provide yet more evidence that heavier people face discrimination on many fronts, Amanda Kraha and Dr. Adriel Boals of the University of North Texas in Denton conclude in their report.

 

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Beautiful Women Face Discrimination in Certain Jobs: Study

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Attractive women were discriminated against when applying for jobs considered “masculine” jobs.

While many see no downside to being beautiful, a professor at the University of Colorado Denver Business School says attractive women face discrimination when it comes to landing certain kinds of jobs.

 

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Bailout Provides Broader Mental Health Coverage

Bailout Provides Broader Mental Health Coverage

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy speaking at a rally in March on Capitol Hill. Mr. Kennedy
and Representative Jim Ramstad, third from left, led the fight in the House for mental health parity.

More than one-third of all Americans will soon receive better insurance coverage for mental health treatments because of a new law that, for the first time, requires equal coverage of mental and physical illnesses.

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