The IBM computer, Watson, is no longer a guest on the show ‘Jeopardy‘ but that doesn’t mean he’s getting thrown in the trash. IBM believes that Watson will be able to offer services in several different industries, helping cut costs and improving work efficiency. Two industries that are at the forefront of talks about using Watson as a helping hand are the medical and insurance industries.
IBM is currently working on a system for Watson that will allow him to help within the medical industry. Nurses and doctors will be able to count on Watson as a reliable source for identifying proper diagnoses and treatment options for patients (kind of scary!). This new medical system is reported to be completed as soon as 18-24 months.
Sure to be not far from being created after the medical system is completed is the system for insurance companies. As computers have increasingly been changing the underwriter position in the insurance industry, Watson has definitely been brought up as a possible replacement for the position. Watson can be seen as a threat to insurance jobs but IBM’s insurance industry representative Jamie Bisker argues the opposite, saying, “Rather than being a threat to insurance agents and customer service representatives, an artificial intelligence (AI) wizard like Watson could become their best – and smartest– ally, helping them to not only answer their customers’ questions and but also learn about new products and sales scenarios, according to the IBM executive.”
Several other industries will follow in the footsteps of the medical and insurance industries if the IBM computers prove to be successful in helping with business. Employees may be afraid of the computers’ arrival into the workspace but it may just end up being more helpful than harmful.
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