How AI and RPA Combine to Create Intelligent Automation
Explore AI and RPA and see how combining them can create intelligent automation.
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It could be said that the technological developments in all industries contribute to compounding developments in the future.
That is to say, better technology today makes it a little easier to harness better technologies tomorrow. Smarter algorithms, more robust hardware, and more capable programs all make it easier to find technologies of the future, effectively quickening technological growth with each discovery. Each and every discovery can work with others to offer new possibilities.
One emerging example of this is intelligent automation. Intelligent automation combines two exciting technologies — artificial intelligence and robotic process automation (RPA) to create massive growth potential and cost savings for businesses. In fact, some of the world’s largest companies are investing in AI tech, with estimates up to $12.4 billion a year.
Used independently or combined, AI and RPA technologies can dramatically improve business operations in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and healthcare to consumer goods and energy.
AI and RPA: Definitions and Individual Functions
AI systems are technologies that possess some capacity to learn, reason, solve problems, show perceptiveness, and demonstrate creativity. The technology has already greatly penetrated consumer’s lives with software like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa that are able to personalize communication. Many businesses use AI to increase output while limited or fully eliminating human error.
RPA is a technological application aimed at automating business processes through software or “robots.” This can be anything from creating automated mailing list responses to deploying intelligent bots to repair software systems.
The functions of RPA systems can vary greatly, but their purpose is relatively straight forward. They take repetitive daily operations at businesses and automate the completion of those tasks. With AI, the functions are more geared toward finding creative solutions to common problems like deriving patterns from data, making predictions based on analytics, and finding innovative answers to problematic issues.
With similar goals of increased output with less human need, it is clear to see how RPA and AI are quickly merging. More and more businesses are using RPA processes based off of AI technologies.
Intelligent Automation: What Is It? How Can It Be Used?
When it comes to intelligent automation, it helps to focus on what AI and RPA have in common. Both are largely built around improving workflows, minimizing human errors, and streamlining mundane or repetitive tasks.
While both are capable of operating on their own, together, they form a great tool that can be helpful in a number of business applications. With RPA used to handle many business processes, the introduction of AI is the next step into a more holistic and inventive approach to workflow management.
The appeal of AI on its own is that it can harness creativity, make predictions, and in many ways, lead the way toward a better way of handling the same tasks organizations have done for years.
For example, chatbots are seeing exponential growth in the customer service space. In a recent interview with Appian, Todd Lohr, Technology Enablement and Automation Principal at KPMG, explained, “You’re seeing chatbots in that market. You’re seeing lots of technologies coming up to drive automation. What’s different now than before is that when organizations looked at their contact centers and how to drive benefits there, they kind of looked at it two ways: What is the cost of this? And how can we move the needle on customer service, loyalty, and lifetime customer value? And usually, taking cost out of that function resulted in a degradation of customer service, right? You’re seeing an inverse now, where automation is providing a higher level of service, and more personalized self-service at a fraction of the cost of live agents, without putting customers on hold for 20 minutes. This is going to change the economics in that space.”
Organizations will continue to leverage intelligent automation to streamline processes and reduce costs, all while delivering a better experience to customers.
Will Intelligent Automation Set a Precedent for the Future?
AI and RPA are two technologies that are fine on their own. But when used together, they offer new possibilities and potentially pave the way toward a new trend in the future.
Using budding technologies together can present possible solutions that just don’t exist when those technologies are used on their own. By demonstrating how combining technologies can help, intelligent automation may set the stage for more creative tech groupings in the future.
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