Reinsurance major Munich Re has signed an agreement to acquire certain stake in artificial intelligence firm German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) to tap the power of AI in various fields.

DFKI is a European institute for the research of artificial intelligence, robotics and smart factories.

The DFKI deal, a not-for-profit public-private partnership, will enable Munich Re to use AI, data analytics for practical use.

DFKI deal

Subject to approval by all of existing shareholders of DFKI, the transaction is likely to conclude during the first quarter of this year.

Munich Re member of the board of management Torsten Jeworrek said: “Artificial intelligence is one of the most important technologies of our time. AI makes it possible to create totally new products even today, such as insurance covers for connected factories or for losses caused by cyber crime. But it also comes with a host of new challenges.

“By collaborating with the DFKI, we are living out our aspiration to play a leading role in AI in the insurance sector.

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“Not only will the partnership help us develop the most modern, effective and best processes for our clients, it will also make the latest research available to our employees and further advance research in this field.”

DFKI CEO and technical and scientific managing director Wolfgang Wahlster stated: “Munich Re joining the circle of DFKI-shareholders offers enormous potential for innovation in terms of the AI methods we develop.

“The real-time demands of Munich Re’s big data analytics open up fantastic opportunities for application, particularly for our deep learning competence centre, our speech perception and machine vision technology, the interpretability of deep learning results, and sensor fusion.”

With about 1,000 employees, DFKI is working in 18 research departments and research groups, eight competence centres and eight “living labs”.

DFKI receives support from the membership of tech companies such as Airbus, BMW, Bosch, Google, Microsoft, SAP, Volkswagen apart from the EU and the German government.