Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation

As if there was any question about how dramatically robotic process automation can impact an organization:

  • Employees spend 10 to 25 percent of their time performing repetitive computer tasks.
  • IT departments spend almost a third of their time on low-level tasks. 
  • Half of all companies spend between $5 and $25 on manual invoice processing for every invoice

What do all of these processes have in common? 

They all could be automated. 

It’s estimated that between 70 and 80 percent of rules-based processes can be automated. Imagine how that could free up your team and your budget to handle bigger and more complicated work.

But what if even more processes could be automated? When you combine the basic “horsepower” of RPA with the intellect of artificial intelligence (AI), the results are impressive. Brains and braun simultaneously. 

When you combine AI and RPA, you get to scientifically discover the optimal automation opportunities for your organization and enhance the work that your robots do every day, all through AI.

Here’s what you need to know about RPA and AI, and how the combination of the two just may revolutionize your organization’s day to day processes. 

The Difference Between RPA and AI—And Why They Work Well Together

RPA and AI may sound similar, but the difference in applications of the two technologies is quite pronounced. What do you need to know about how these two technologies compare?

Robotics Process Automation

RPA is all about automation. It helps software robots interact with digital systems. What makes RPA so beneficial is that it frees employees up from repetitive, time-consuming, and non-value-added work. It eliminates all the unpleasant grunt work from your to-do lists so you can focus on the work that requires more finesse.

Organizations have the best luck implementing rule-based, repetitive processes where the workflows don’t change over time. On its own, RPA can:

  • Log into applications and connect to APIs
  • Copy and paste data
  • Extract structured content then process it
  • Open emails and attachments
  • Scrape data to the web

Artificial Intelligence

With artificial intelligence, organizations can handle complex processes that used to only be done by humans. AI robots are capable of making cognitive decisions because they use large data sets to predict several outcomes, then choose the best one.

Artificial intelligence moves past execution into thinking, which means you can:

  • Understand documents
  • Visualize screens and virtual desktops
  • Understand conversations and process language
  • Find tasks and processes to automate 
  • Manage semi-structured or unstructured data

Why the Combination Makes Sense

Think of RPA like a really powerful engine in a really great car. It certainly helps get you to where to need to go faster than walking or riding your bike. By combining RPA with AI, it’s like hiring an Indy-500 driver to get you there. Like an experienced racecar driver, AI chooses the fastest, safest routes, makes in-the-moment decisions based on current conditions, and operates the car better than you ever could.

How AI and RPA Can Pair Up to Do More

Like a champion racecar driver and a fabulous car, AI and RPA make a stellar team. Take a look at how AI and RPA work together to enhance and expedite what you do:

  1. Discover automation opportunities through task mining and process mining. AI allows you to methodically and scientifically find the right process to automate across your enterprise. This makes your automation processes more efficient, giving you a better return-on-investment (ROI).
  2. Use AI to enable your robots to perform “thinking” tasks by using technology that gives them the power to process and documents, recognize and visualize interfaces, make complex, informed decisions, and interact with customers. 
  3. Implement AI and robots together into any activity.
  4. Improve your solution accuracy with new data. Through human evaluation and built-in retraining models, your AI and RPA solution will continuously get stronger and more efficient. 

Artificial intelligence takes what RPA can do and uses science- and data-based processes to pinpoint exactly where you should direct your automation budget. You get a thorough picture of your process from end-to-end, plus ideas on how to make it better and implementable solutions to address these suggestions. It just makes sense!

How RPA and AI Can Be Applied

It’s clear that robotic process automation and artificial intelligence work well together, but how can this partnership work for you?

Here are a few examples of how an AI-RPA combination has helped organizations do what they do—only better and faster.

  • Reviewing resumés and applications: A major job search can yield hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications. Going through all of these can be very labor-intensive. With AI, you can go beyond basic string extraction using Natural Language Processing to find qualified candidates who don’t just tick boxes on a checklist; they are vibrant, engaging, and a good fit for your organization.
  • Resolve customer claims: Handling claims means working with customers on the front end while also navigating back-end systems. RPA and AI can come together to intelligently capture customer intent, while also working through internal enterprise systems. This integration can help you resolve claims faster and provide exceptional, expedited customer service.
  • Stay compliant with expense audits: Maintaining compliance with expense policy guidelines can be tricky—but is standard in almost every organization across the board and has to be done every time. RPA can extract and classify information from various receipts automatically, making it much easier and faster to validate these expenses against company policies to remain compliant for audit purposes.

Are you looking for ways to make your RPA processes even smarter? Cronos can help. We’re all about supporting organizations like yours; empowering your teams to work faster and smarter, not harder. Want to learn more about what we can do? Contact us today!

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