The benefits of combining Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence
22 December, 2021
Humans have always sought solutions to optimize their work processes through the creation of tools.
The Industrial Revolution exemplifies this phenomenon, with the shift from manual to machine production, the assembly line introduced by Henry Ford, and even the introduction of computers, among many other examples. But there is much more. For a few years now, we have been hearing about RPA, Robotic Process Automation.
RPA is a method for automating business processes that are typically performed by humans. These robots are part of the daily life of many companies, performing tasks such as data extraction, ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), or OCR (Optical Character Recognition) by interpreting digitized forms and correctly inserting them into business applications.
Today, there is greater knowledge and ease of use of Data Science, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence technologies, as well as tools such as computer vision that can interpret images and video, and process natural language, i.e., interpret written and spoken language in multiple languages, or virtual agents, also known as chatbots, that can engage in dialogue with humans, either in written form or orally. We can conclude that RPA can evolve even further to replace humans in business tasks. Some companies are already using it, for example, in a fully automated chat or even call center, or as a company's first line of IT support.
If you believe that this type of knowledge is exclusive to certain companies and requires specialized teams and expensive development and implementation costs, which makes it impossible for most companies, you are wrong. Today, there are low-code or no-code solutions that allow business users to implement RPA, from the most simple to the most complex.
Moreover, if you think we have reached the limit of RPA evolution, it's because you haven't heard of hyperautomation, but what is it? It's nothing more than a combination of RPA with Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (RPA-AI), which makes it possible, for instance, to learn from a conversation between a virtual agent and a user and, consequently, improve the dialog autonomously, or even to discover processes and create new RPA bots automatically.
In short, RPA makes it possible for organizations to reduce execution time, cut costs, and ensure accuracy when repeating processes, but it can also raise social issues, as predicted in the academic study conducted by Oxford University and Deloitte (2015): "By 2035, 35% of jobs could be automated."
To conclude, I would like to pose a question: Will there ever be companies that are completely run by RPA-AI, or is this just science fiction?
Article published on IT Channel, on December 22, 2021