A logo of Ant Financial is displayed at an event of the company. Photo: Reuters/Bobby Yip

Ant Financial, an Alibaba fintech affiliate, is launching an artificial intelligence product that can assess damage on vehicles for insurance companies, the Shanghai Securities Journal (SSJ) reported on Wednesday.

The system, which will be offered free to insurance companies, will rely on “image-recognition” of exterior damage and will aid “vehicle insurance claims adjustors in operating faster and more efficiently,” a company press release said.

Drivers will be able to take a photo and send it to the insurer, where the AI system will help to “assess the extent of the damage,” give a cost estimate for repairs, and a list of nearby garages that can fix the vehicle.

The company claims that its AI system can beat experienced human claims adjustors by 0.48 seconds faster in a demonstration in Beijing. The human claims adjustors took 6.48 seconds.

The insurance industry employs close to a 100,000 claims adjustors in China, according to Shanghai Securities Journal in the same report. It added that the use of AI will possibly reduce the workload of the claims adjustors by 50% once fully in place.

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