Swiss Re, IBM Watson to harness Big Data for reinsurance

Swiss Re and IBM (NYSE: IBM) said 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.

By applying Watson´s capabilities, the new platform could allow Swiss Re professionals to make better informed decisions and more accurately price risk, the company said.

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 a 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.

The Swiss Re Group is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer.