Mind Foundry, an artificial intelligence startup vying to help insurers decide which drivers should be covered, has raised $22 million in funding, the latest sign of growing demand to deploy AI in critical sectors where there’s little room for error.
The startup’s AI tools are being used to detect cognitive decline in older drivers in Japan to aid Asian insurance giant, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co., in predicting and preventing accidents. Aioi invested in the funding round along with Parkwalk Advisors and the University of Oxford, said Brian Mullins, Mind Foundry’s chief executive officer. The Series B round brings the startup’s total funding to $44 million.
Traditionally, insurers have relied heavily on details such as the type of car and the driver’s age to predict who is more likely to be involved in serious accidents — and to set insurance premiums. In recent years, some insurers have leaned on AI software both to expedite settling claims and to analyze driving data to come up with more precise risk assessments for customers. AI’s increasing influence on insurance coverage decisions may worry some, but Mullins said there’s an upside when it comes to seniors.