Swiss Re is working with IBM Watson to develop a "range of underwriting solutions," according to the companies.

The insurer hopes that the cognitive computing platform will help its underwriters more accurately price risk. One of the first applications of the technology will be in Swiss Re's Life & Health Reinsurance business unit.

"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," says Thomas Wellauer, Swiss Re COO. "Swiss Re and IBM are collaborating to establish a vision for cognitive computing at Swiss Re and the wider insurance industry."

Swiss Re has also set up a Center of Competence in which a group of its data scientists work with IBM's cognitive computing technology to explore and deliver a wide range of use cases.

"We are continuously looking for clients who can help us train Watson on new industries," says Mike Rhodin, IBM Watson SVP. "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."

The key components of Watson technology that Swiss Re expects to be an improvement over current technology are deep learning and natural language processing, the latter of which allows for humans to ask the system questions.

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