The Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) in partnership with the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) is working to develop artificial intelligence/machine learning models that can go beyond the capabilities of robotic process automation and make decisions about financial transactions.
By coupling machine learning with RPA, JAIC hopes to solve some of the more complex challenges in financial data.
Automated financial management services are already used throughout DOD to resolve accounting errors and process data for a variety of audit requirements. The Army, for example, used automated solutions to eliminate nearly 30,000 labor hours in FY19 and expects to free up more than 100,000 labor hours in FY20, according to a JAIC blog post.
RPA, however, is unable handle unmatched transactions, which are those where the invoice number, amount, method of payment or any number of details cannot be reconciled. It can take humans anywhere from a day to months to track down and resolve these unmatched transactions, adding up to billions of dollars in unresolved financial activity for DOD. The current backlog of about a year compounds the problem.
The new automated ML models would “be able take irregular, complex financial information and data, make decisions and apply judgments and solutions to a high level of accuracy or confidence without having to have a human in the loop,” said Rachael Martin, Mission Director for JAIC’s Business Process Transformation Mission Initiative.