More than 30 workers at Japan-based Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance are set to be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI), according to Japanese daily The Mainichi.
The new AI employees will be based on IBM's Watson technology and will initially be set to work in the insurer's payment assessment department reading documents such as medical reports from doctors, medical history and surgical visits, that are used to calculate pay-outs to policy holders.
The document reading was previously carried out by 131 employees who worked on more than 130,000 cases per year.
Thirty four people are epxected to be made redundant as a result of the move to AI, generating savings of ￥140m ($1.2m) per year. In contrast, the AI will cost around ￥200m to install and ￥15m to run per year.