NEW YORK CITY and ZURICH – 22 Oct 2015: Swiss Re and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that they are developing a range of underwriting solutions that rely on IBM Watson‘s cognitive computing technologies. One of the first applications will be in Swiss Re’s Life & Health Reinsurance business unit.
To compete successfully and profitably, insurers must identify and act on emerging trends. In addition, insurers need the ability to spot operational issues or opportunities in real time and respond proactively. Cognitive technologies, coupled with human experience and insights, can enhance and help inform timely decision making. By applying Watson’s capabilities, the new platform could allow Swiss Re professionals to make better informed decisions and more accurately price risk.
Thomas Wellauer, Swiss Re’s Group Chief Operating Officer, says: “Systems like cognitive computing can continuously read the ever growing amount of information while helping us connect the dots and making it easier to interpret that information in the right context. Swiss Re and IBM are collaborating to establish a vision for cognitive computing at Swiss Re and the wider insurance industry.”
The project is yet another new industry domain for IBM’s Watson, a technology that represents a new era in computing in which systems are able to analyze and process vast amounts of unstructured data, quickly surface insights and continuously learn from their interactions with humans and data. Delivered via the cloud, Watson’s key underlying technologies are deep learning and natural language processing, the latter of which allows for humans to ask questions and interact with the system as they would a colleague.
Mike Rhodin, IBM Watson’s Senior Vice President, says: “We are continuously looking for clients who can help us train Watson on new industries. Swiss Re’s strong heritage of leadership in reinsurance, their global reach and breadth of data across several areas of the industry, combined with Watson’s ability to learn and provide insights into vast amounts of data, make this a particularly exciting venture.”
As part of the initiative Swiss Re has also set up a Center of Competence where a group of data scientists will work with IBM’s cognitive computing technology to explore and deliver a wide range of use cases. Other examples of such cognitive underwriting could follow as Swiss Re and IBM work to develop a range of solutions across various sectors of the reinsurance industry that could benefit from cognitive computing.
IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson is the first open cognitive computing technology platform and represents a new era in computing where systems understand the world in the way that humans do: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.
To advance Watson, IBM has two dedicated business units: Watson, established for the development of cloud-delivered cognitive computing technologies that represent the commercialization of “artificial intelligence” or “AI” across a variety of industries, and Watson Health, dedicated to improving the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers and other related health organizations to surface new insights from data to and deliver personalized healthcare.
The Swiss Re Group is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Dealing direct and working through brokers, its global client base consists of insurance companies, mid-to-large-sized corporations and public sector clients. From standard products to tailor-made coverage across all lines of business, Swiss Re deploys its capital strength, expertise and innovation power to enable the risk-taking upon which enterprise and progress in society depend. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re serves clients through a network of about 70 offices globally and is rated “AA-” by Standard & Poor’s, “Aa3” by Moody’s and “A+” by A.M. Best. Registered shares in the Swiss Re Group holding company, Swiss Re Ltd, are listed in accordance with the International Reporting Standard on the SIX Swiss Exchange and trade under the symbol SREN. For more information about Swiss Re Group, please visit: www.swissre.com or follow us on Twitter @SwissRe.
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- instability affecting the global financial system and developments related thereto;
- deterioration in global economic conditions;
- the Group’s ability to maintain sufficient liquidity and access to capital markets, including sufficient liquidity to cover potential recapture of reinsurance agreements, early calls of debt or debt-like arrangements and collateral calls due to actual or perceived deterioration of the Group’s financial strength or otherwise;
- the effect of market conditions, including the global equity and credit markets, and the level and volatility of equity prices, interest rates, credit spreads, currency values and other market indices, on the Group’s investment assets;
- changes in the Group’s investment result as a result of changes in its investment policy or the changed composition of its investment assets, and the impact of the timing of any such changes relative to changes in market conditions;
- uncertainties in valuing credit default swaps and other credit-related instruments;
- possible inability to realise amounts on sales of securities on the Group’s balance sheet equivalent to their mark-to-market values recorded for accounting purposes;
- the outcome of tax audits, the ability to realise tax loss carryforwards and the ability to realise deferred tax assets (including by reason of the mix of earnings in a jurisdiction or deemed change of control), which could negatively impact future earnings;
- the possibility that the Group’s hedging arrangements may not be effective;
- the lowering or loss of one of the financial strength or other ratings of one or more Swiss Re companies, and developments adversely affecting the Group’s ability to achieve improved ratings;
- the cyclicality of the reinsurance industry;
- uncertainties in estimating reserves;
- uncertainties in estimating future claims for purposes of financial reporting, particularly with respect to large natural catastrophes, as significant uncertainties may be involved in estimating losses from such events and preliminary estimates may be subject to change as new information becomes available;
- the frequency, severity and development of insured claim events;
- acts of terrorism and acts of war;
- mortality, morbidity and longevity experience;
- policy renewal and lapse rates;
- extraordinary events affecting the Group’s clients and other counterparties, such as bankruptcies, liquidations and other credit-related events;
- current, pending and future legislation and regulation affecting the Group or its ceding companies and the interpretation of legislation or regulations;
- legal actions or regulatory investigations or actions, including those in respect of industry requirements or business conduct rules of general applicability;
- changes in accounting standards;
- significant investments, acquisitions or dispositions, and any delays, unexpected costs or other issues experienced in connection with any such transactions;
- changing levels of competition; and
- operational factors, including the efficacy of risk management and other internal procedures in managing the foregoing risks.
These factors are not exhaustive. The Group operates in a continually changing environment and new risks emerge continually. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Swiss Re undertakes no obligation to publicly revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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