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What Is an Intelligent RPA System and What Can It Do for my Business?

Jan. 15, 2018

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) systems have traditionally been defined as those capable of freeing us from the most repetitive tasks in the use of applications or computer programs. Perhaps nowadays we should expand this definition, since the possibility of combining this technology with Artificial Intelligence solutions is opening the doors to new and important business opportunities. The so-called intelligent RPA systems are not only capable of imitating repetitive actions, but also of learning and making decisions.

There are still many people who spend a large part of their workday performing monotonous tasks in front of a computer. Let's think, for example, of a Purchasing Department in which workers repeat innumerable times actions such as logging in and logging out, adding products to a shopping cart, entering data in forms or clicking on the Accept button. A Robotic Process Automation  system is capable of imitating all these actions that are performed with a keyboard or a mouse, transforming a manual workflow into an automatic one.

This simple automation of the purchasing process can have a great impact on the productivity of the company. The RPA system can be working 24 hours a day, without the need for breaks, and it can easily adapt to possible increases or reductions in workload. Automation also ensures that the process is carried out quickly and accurately, without the inherent errors of any manual action. And, what is more important, thanks to RPA systems, workers can leave routine tasks and devote themselves to functions in which they can provide greater value.

Combined with Artificial Intelligence algorithms, a Robotic Process Automation system can learn or make decisions.

These benefits can be even greater if the company is committed to an intelligent RPA system. Traditionally, it has always been understood that RPA systems are dumb. That is, they are able to perform both easy and difficult tasks, but always repeating a step-by-step process. However, combined with Artificial Intelligence algorithms, a Robotic Process Automation system may also be able to learn or make decisions.

Continuing with our example, an intelligent RPA solution will not only be able to reproduce the purchase process, but also to act differently in different situations. If the price of a product falls, the system will buy more units. On the contrary, if the price rises, the system will assess if it is possible to wait to make the purchase. If an item runs out, the system will try to detect a similar one.

The union of RPA and Artificial Intelligence, defined by some experts as "the last frontier of productivity", opens the door to numerous business opportunities. Our example of automation of the purchasing process is applicable to any other workflow in which tasks such as copying and pasting texts, entering data, moving folders, filling out forms or clicking buttons, among many others, are being repeated manually.

The union of RPA and Artificial Intelligence, defined by some experts as "the last frontier of productivity", opens the doors to numerous business opportunities.

The more complex and variable the process, the more possibilities there are to apply intelligent systems. If our system of Robotic Process Automation has artificial vision, it will be able, for example, to recognize the new elements that appear in a web. If we apply Natural Language Processing , it will be able to automate the retrieval of information. In any case, however intelligent they may be, RPA systems are far from replacing humans. These systems increase the productivity and efficiency of companies and, thanks to them, people stop working as robots.