It is only in the recent years that we have started acknowledging AI presence in our day to day life, but AI has been there from a long time has proven propitious time and over again. Over time, AI has evolved tremendously and led to significant breakthroughs. There are negligible fields that AI hasn’t affected yet. On one hand, where tech giants have already implemented AI, on the other hand, there are startups that have been founded on the grounds of AI. While AI has provided humongous benefits, there is still a constant need for newer and more powerful solutions for solving complex business problems.
General AI and Narrow AI
To tell apart the two categories of AI, we can say that Narrow AI is what we have achieved so far and General AI is something that we are looking forward to achieving. Narrow AI can handle only one task at a time and General AI refers to a system that can perform any task which is desired from it just like a human would perform tasks.
In layman terms, AI still refers to robots but, AI has gone way beyond that today. Along with the physical robot, we have chatbots that replace a customer service agent and virtual robots that perform a series of actions just as a human would. We can broadly classify the robots as the ones that mimic human actions and the ones that imitate human actions as well as the human thought process. As per the requirement of the task, a robot is selected. For e.g., If you need to perform a task of opening emails, downloading the attachments and storing the attachments to a particular folder, the bot to be used will not have to make any choices. It will just have to perform the same sequence of tasks repetitively.
Similarly, if a robot has to perform a task where it has to capture data, compare the data with thousands of records to find the best match. Here, the robot will need to be programmed on how to find the correct match by providing it with the data points and the comparison algorithm.
Digitalization through AI has given rise to a new term called the Smart Workforce. Chatbots, virtual bots, agent assist bots and cognitive bots constitute the smart workforce. According to a survey, 53 % of business owners have already absorbed RPA in their business and this percentage is expected to grow up to 72 % by the year 2020. Also, those who have already implemented RPA are planning to significantly increase their investments in RPA in the coming years. Every business has processes that are repetitive and time-consuming yet inevitable. If the repetitive and time-consuming tasks are automated using RPA, humans will be able to focus their time and attention on other important things.
Applications of RPA
RPA can perform tasks like opening emails and attachments, logging into systems, moving/copying/pasting files and folders, filling data into forms, reading/writing to databases, scraping data from the web, performing calculations, extracting data from documents, collecting statistics and following the if-then rules.
RPA can work 24*7 without human intervention. It needs to be trained only once and it saves a huge amount of operation costs as well as time. RPA bots are reliable and accurate since they mimic human actions. RPA helps increase the throughput and decrease the processing time.