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.

This isn’t science fiction. More than three-quarters of insurance executives believe artificial intelligence will revolutionise the industry within a few years. By 2030, according to McKinsey futurists, artificial intelligence will mean your car and life insurance premiums could change based on whether you decide to take one route or another.

Continue reading… “Very risky business: the pros and cons of insurance companies embracing artificial intelligence”

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Americans waste more than a billion gallons of gas every year because of obesity

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For every additional pound of passenger weight, the United States uses up another 39 million gallons of fuel each year.

Obesity raises health costs as we all know with more frequent visits to the hospital, more prescription drugs, and a greater risk for developing diseases like diabetes.  What is less known are the economic costs of obesity.  What are increased costs obesity puts on the public infrastructure, the GDP or on the federal deficit?

Continue reading… “Americans waste more than a billion gallons of gas every year because of obesity”

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