Automation driven by the rise of robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning is poised to change the working world faster and more dramatically than anything that has come before. This rapid and sudden economic transformation has sparked significant concerns about people losing their jobs to machines: While the roles most susceptible to automation are low-skill positions in fields like manufacturing, retail, and transportation, new technologies promise to have an impact on high-skill fields as well.
In fact, they already are. Quartz’s Dave Gershgorn passes along a story from Japan, where Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance is reportedly replacing 34 insurance claim assessors with an AI system based on IBM’s Watson technology:
The AI will scan hospital records and other documents to determine insurance payouts, according to a company press release, factoring injuries, patient medical histories, and procedures administered. Automation of these research and data gathering tasks will help the remaining human workers process the final payout faster, the release says.