Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance believes it will increase productivity by 30% Photograph: Toru Hanai/REUTERS
The Guardian: Japanese company replaces office workers with artificial intelligence
Insurance firm Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance is making 34 employees redundant and replacing them with IBM’s Watson Explorer AI
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.
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CSN Editor: So it begins.