Understanding Intelligent Automation

Intelligent Automation (AI), also called Cognitive Automation, is a combination of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence. Combined, these two technologies can provide fast end-to-end business process automation and accelerate digital transformation. In a nutshell, the implementation of this technology paves the way for companies to improve business productivity and efficiency.

The question shall be, how does intelligent automation can offer such benefits?

Intelligent automation works to simplify business processes. Thus, this technology frees up resources that a company usually invest in completing certain business process such as human resource, time, and cost. Intelligent automation speeds up the task, reduces the risk of human error, and can help human to make smart decisions in the processes that usually require human knowledge.

Read more about 3 components of Intelligent automation

Uses of Intelligent Automation

For an example in insurance, IA can help to recommend best insurance products based on profile, onboard their new policy-holders, or process claims. A HR manager can use the technology to automate talent acquisition or recruitment process, and to onboard new employee. An accounting clerk can use it to do accounts receivable and accounts payable. In manufacturing, an engineer can use it to generate machine maintenance report.

Find out more use of Intelligent Automation

There are many processes that IA can automate. These are the basic concepts of what it can do:

Intelligent Document Processing

Intelligent Document Processing is a powerful tool to read and extract data from documents. It can be used to read and identify target data fields, extract them, and then categorize them. Supported by A.I. Machine Learning, this technology identifies and understands data fields to extract them accurately, and provides self-learning capabilities such as classification, categorization, and classification of data fields.

See Intelligent Automation in action: Read and Extract data from Invoices

Decision-making or data analysis with Machine Learning

IA incorporates various types of AI, including Machine Learning. With the presence of machine learning, IA has learning capability through training by a set of historical data, so that it can identify and understand the pattern & trends to make decisions or data-analytics of future data. The decisions could be a prediction, detection, and recommendation of future outcomes from a new set of data input.

See Intelligent Automation in action: Making predictions with Machine Learning

Collect, consolidate or integrate data between systems or documents

IA is an extent of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) empowered with Artificial Intelligence. IA automates manual business processes through A.I. by mimicking keyboard strokes and mouse-clicks. This makes its prominent capability is collecting and integrating data between systems or applications, in a nutshell – connecting one system with another.

In basic, intelligent automation can automatically access any website, system, platform, or application where data resides. The intelligent robot can do data-scraping or extract the data from the source and populate the data into a structured document that is accessible, or even to transfer the data into another place.

See Intelligent Automation in action: Integrate Data between Systems and Seamless Data Collection

Generate reports

With the ability to collect and consolidate data from any type of sources, IA can help to generate any kind of reports: financing, accounting, and more.

See Intelligent Automation in action: Generate reports

Misconceptions about Intelligent Automation

Despite its broad capabilities, and the benefits IA brings, there are some misconceptions that are threatening and inhibiting the adoption of IA.

Read about Top 10 Digitalization that can Benefit Your Enterprise

Some of these common misconceptions are:

1. Intelligent automation can replace human workforce

IA will replace human in workplace. IA will kill jobs for human. These are some fears around the adoption of IA. The question is, is this fear necessary?

It turns out, IA has the potential to reshape the way companies work – by streamlining their business processes or workflow. Speeding things up, shortening and simplifying workflows, making use of existing resources at maximum. Many can IA do, and with a very strong artificial intelligence background, it can certainly replace some of human jobs. But ‘replacement’ is not quite a perfect word to describe this. A ‘role shifting’ would be greater word to describe the effect.

It would rather be a role shifting rather than a role replacement. Human staff that usually does the administrative works manually, can shift to more value-added tasks that can contribute higher value to the organization where the intelligent bot may be restricted to do. The intelligent bot can do the old manual works in a faster and easier way, where the human staff can focus on other valuable things.

In a nutshell, repetitive and manual jobs are better performed by machines. However, there are certain jobs that require human skills that intelligent automation can not do, and this is where the human will focus on. Even if intelligent automation eliminates many jobs, it will also create many other jobs to assist and supervise its implementation.

Read more of whether intelligent automation replace human workforce

COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that IA is no longer optional. Despite the restrictions and limitations of human resources, companies still need to have stability in their productivity. Intelligent automation helps companies not just to improve productivity or efficiency, or reduce operational cost, but also to stay competitive in the market. Intelligent automation allows companies to increase their competitive advantages – knowing the trend in the market, supplying dynamic demands from the market, understanding what the market needs.

2. Intelligent automation is unnecessary as the adoption requires various resources

Some might be not willing to allocate resources such as human, time, and cost to implement or adopt IA. These allocations are the main reason why some of companies think that they do not need IA. However, it is to better to make sacrifices in the beginning to have greater things after. Adopting and starting IA to do projects will take time, but eventually companies can quickly benefit from it. Ignoring to implement IA will put companies at the cost of losing competitive advantages.

3. Intelligent automation is a dangerous technology

With the broad and promising functions of artificial intelligence technologies that empower IA, people begin to question if this technology can endanger humanity. The question and fear revolve around whether IA can turn its back on human because it’s super-intelligent and thus endangering humanity. In fact, even though intelligent automation takes over some of the works, but it still requires human supervision and control. Human-staff will not lose control of the automated processes. The running of automation projects by intelligent automation will be under assistance from human, and with non-stop supervision.

Read and watch webinar about is AI a danger or opportunity for workforce

Written by: Kezia Nadira