Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence are two indispensable technologies that are great in silos and even greater when combined. Both these technologies have the potential to drive enterprise business transformation. So, if you are thinking of using any of these technologies, you must first understand their individual benefits and the benefits when they are combined together.
The dumb but efficient robots
Let's understand RPA first. RPA refers to the application of preconfigured software that uses business rules to execute processes either autonomously or with human intervention and assistance. Mundane, repetitive and rule-based tasks, which does not require human judgement, can be performed by application of RPA software. Since it is 'User Interface' (UI) based, it does not require expensive technology integrations and, thus, brings about a good ROI, which in turn makes good business justification for its implementation. It also frees up resources to focus on higher value and meaningful activities.
RPA is not a novel concept and has actually been around for many years. However, RPA deployment has not been as much as had been anticipated. This is because in majority of the processes, which are repetitive and rule based, the underlying data is semi-structured or unstructured and RPA bots which are not 'intelligent' but driven solely by business rules could not make use of this data to perform tasks.
The intelligent and self-learning AI robots
The inability of RPA bots has brought AI robots into the picture. What is AI and how does it benefit your organization? Encyclopedia Britannica defines AI as the ability of a digital computer or computer controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the cognitive characteristics of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from experience.
The USP of AI is that AI robots can self-learn over time and apply reason and logic while solving problems. AI also has a subset of technologies, such as Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) that can be leveraged to build systems capable of performing cognitive functions that are only within the scope of human intelligence.
Way forward – Marriage of the two robots
So to answer the question that which of these two technologies you should choose for your business - You must have noticed that both of the technologies are capable when applied in silos and can bring about huge benefits to your business. However, the automation applicability and benefits increase exponentially when these technologies are combined.