In my last posting, I talked about the recent Jeopardy beat down administered by Watson, an IBM-built expert knowledge computer, to two Jeopardy champions of recent years. IBM Global Insurance Industry Leader Jamie Bisker emphasized that the event was a demonstration of the increasing ability of computers to understand and work with natural language—an ability that would be useful in developing more advanced expert systems for insurance and financial services.

This caused me to wonder where an insurer or broker might get its hands on such technology, which would surely be a competitive advantage in terms of problem solving and product development. Unfortunately, such capability is not available off the shelf at your local computer outlet. According to Bisker, IBM is currently working on a Watson-style application for the medical field, which may be of interest to health insurers down the road.

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