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Manulife Bhd : Hancock signs up for AI help

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08/28/2016 | 07:08am CEST

Aug. 28--Insurance giant John Hancock and a small Boston startup are teaming up in the hopes of using artificial intelligence to guide the company's investment decisions.

John Hancock -- and its Canadian parent company Manulife -- have started working with indico data solutions, a startup that makes AI software designed to create easily digestible trends, themes and other important information out of the mountains of data that financial analysts have to keep track of.

"These guys are all drowning in data," said Vishal Daga, chief customer officer for indico. "The idea is to build an application using these deep learning techniques that can help analysts whittle down that stack of reading material in a useful manner."

Indico's software can analyze word choices from stock analyst reports and automatically detect whether the language is positive or negative. If an analyst sees that reports are suddenly more negative than a month ago, they could be alerted to a problem they may have missed.

"It gives you something quantitative for something that was always qualitative," Daga said. "We're all drowning in content, and this technology and capability is just starting to come to a point where it gives you an effective shot at doing that."

The software also could find themes and words that are often used in reports or news articles, making the everyday developments of a company easier for analysts to understand.

A large part of John Hancock's business is investing and managing the money it takes in. The company had $718 billion in assets under management at the end of June.

"Indico will help us accelerate our use of deep learning to improve the decision-making capabilities of our analysts, portfolio managers and researchers," said Greg Framke, chief information officer of Manulife. "By introducing new capabilities that we know will add to our user experience and overall impact we will improve the customer experience."


(c)2016 the Boston Herald

Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

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