Source: Emerj | February 21, 2019
Author: Raghav Bharadwaj
AI applications for the insurance industry have certainly garnered a lot of press lately. We’ve previously covered such applications in the American and European insurance spaces. Countries in Asia such as China and Japan have large insurance industries and seem to have established national AI strategies.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the applications of AI and machine learning in the Asian insurance sector. We cover real-world use cases from B2B AI vendors that claim to offer AI solutions to insurance companies in Asia and AI projects initiated by the insurance carriers themselves.
We’ll run through uses cases from the following Ai vendors and insurance companies:
- Ant Financial offers a smartphone app called the Dingsunbao, which it claims uses AI to determine the payouts to policyholders for vehicle damage.
- IBM Watson offers the Watson software which can be used in claims adjustment.
- Ping An is a Chinese insurance firm that claims to have developed several AI technologies for use in automotive and health insurance.
We’ll start with a few insights up front pertaining to the use of AI in Asia’s insurance sector:
AI in the Asian Insurance Sector – Insights Up Front
It seems as though the most common applications for AI in the Asian insurance sector is the use of computer vision for automatic appraisals and the use of natural language processing, voice and speech recognition, to automate business process and make customer experiences better.
Ant Financial is one of the largest unicorn startups in the world and claims to have already worked with several Chinese insurance firms. Similarly, many Japanese insurers have announced AI projects with vendors such as IBM. Looking at the AI talent and the resources that Ant Financial and IBM have, it is highly likely that both use-cases mentioned here are relevant to real-world AI use.
AI vendors and large insurance firms in Asia seem to be developing software that can aid in business process automation in the insurance sector.
We’ll start our analysis of the state of AI in Asian Insurance sector with Ant Financial, the first of three vendor use-cases discussed in this report:
Computer Vision for Claims Adjustment
Ant Financial is a subsidiary of the Alibaba group with over 3,000 employees. The company offers software called the Ding Sun Bao, which it claims can help insurance firms analyze vehicle damage claims faster than human staff using machine vision.
The company states the machine learning model behind the software was trained on images uploaded by users while filing auto insurance claims showing vehicular damage from various angles and in various lighting conditions. These images would have been labeled as based on the severity of the damage to the vehicle and also assigned a predicted value for the repair costs by insurance subject-matter experts.
These labeled images would then be run through the software’s machine learning algorithm. This would have trained the algorithm to discern the sequences and patterns of 1’s and 0’s that, to the human eye, form the image of a damaged vehicle as displayed in pictures from smartphones.
The user could then upload images of a car that has been in an accident that are not labeled into Ding Sun Bao. The algorithm behind the software would then be able to automatically compare the image to a dataset of labeled images of vehicle damage. The system then showsa human employee an assessment report of the vehicular damage including a possible pricing estimate for the cost of repairs.