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17 May

Rick Huckstep, writing at The Digital Insurer, writes about a recent insurance market event he attended in London, attended by plenty of underwriters and brokers.

Talk eventually turned to an article that Huckstep had written about artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data. He told his colleagues that upwards of 80% of insurance underwriting would soon be handled in an automated fashion.

Then, Huckstep writes, "Sitting opposite me was a London market broker. He reached inside his jacket pocket, pulled out his pen and said, 'Nothing writes business faster than a Mont Blanc pen!' And he was deadly serious.

Hucklstep goes on to note that this traditional mindset is still fairly prevalent in the insurance industry. However, he notes, "technology is rapidly catching the insurance industry up. It’s just that some in the insurance industry don’t yet realize it!"

15 May

People are living longer all over the world. This makes caring for older populations a more pressing concern.

One way to address this issue is to take advantage of wearable technology that can support elderly people, their loved ones, and their caregivers. These devices can provide real-time information that can be used to make decisions about appropriate care and necessary help.

PSFK recently profiled three brands that are using Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things to respond to the needs of Earth's aging population:

13 May

If you have a question, you know you can feed it into a Google search box and get an answer. But new artificial intelligence being developed by Google Research could take that to the next level. Called “Talk to Books,” the tech lets users type in a statement or question, at which point it searches books to find whole sentences that relate to the words you typed.

This may seem like the keyword matching that powers Google’s standard search, but it’s more advanced than that. Talk to Books relies on A.I. for its searches and responses. The system has been fed conversation-like pairs of sentences by the billions. The technology has the sophistication to realize that some words mean the same thing, which allows it to fill in the blanks when you aren’t 100 percent certain what a text originally said.

11 May

Golfers face a dilemma each time they arrive at the golf course. One option is to pay to rent a golf cart, giving them something to help carry their clubs around. But many golfers prefer to walk from one hole to the next, forcing them to either carry their golf clubs or pay for a caddy to do it.

A former BP executive may have come up with the perfect solution to a classic golfer dilemma. Tim Doane has created an autonomous robot that takes over the responsibility of carrying golf clubs. The device, called Rover, runs on three wheels and is self-propelled, which means you can enjoy your game without worrying about getting your clubs from one hole to the next.

09 May

Researchers as the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm say that new material, inspired by dental reconstruction methods, is stronger than dental filler itself. The patch should also help address the problem of setting an adhesive within the human body's moist environment.

Specifically, the research team reports that the new bone adhesive, which mixes the stiff, load-bearing aspects of dental resin composites with the adhesive power of self-etching primer, was successfully used on rats.

The method of curing the material is the same one used by dentists who employ a violet light when finishing a tooth repair. This technique hardens the composite material. The technical name for the chemical process is thiol–ene coupling (TEC), which guarantees a bonding response when water is present.

In fact, says Michael Malkoch, Professor of Fiber and Polymer Technology at KTH, use of the pioneering adhesive patch results in bonding power 55 percent greater than commercial dental bonding adhesive -- which makes the material a valuable alternative to plates and screws.

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