Now we are amid a new technological revolution — this time automating “white-collar” office work, which includes jobs ranging from lawyers to call center operators. In 2017, I first saw the term intelligent automation (IA) used by IEEE to refer to this new capability. I believe that IA, like the previous automation revolutions, will significantly impact our society.
What Is IA?
IA, also called hyperautomation or cognitive automation, is one of the most recent concepts in the field of artificial intelligence. IA combines approaches and technologies involving processes, people, organizations, robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, low-code platforms and more. It is aimed at automating end-to-end business processes in a computerized environment. It delivers business outcomes on behalf of the employees.
IA is capable of increasing processing speed, reducing costs, eliminating errors, and enhancing compliance. It can improve employee and customer satisfaction and boosting revenues.
Boosting Business Efficiency
In just a few years, the applications of IA have spread through the business world with incredible speed as it delivered on its initial promises. Many of the world’s largest companies have adopted IA, including JP Morgan, Netflix, Unilever and ADP.
Improving Employees’ Experience
According to 2017 Gallup research, 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work, in part because it is too manual, repetitive, and tedious. IA can solve a large part of this issue by freeing up employees from repetitive and transactional tasks (e.g., keying in invoices in accounting software) and refocusing them on more value-added and exciting tasks (e.g., the ones involving insights and creativity). It also augments them, transforming them into superhumans who can generate insights from millions of data points in a few seconds (e.g., identifying a tumor on an X-ray instantaneously).
Boosting Customer Experience
Building trust and satisfying and retaining customers is critical for businesses. It is difficult for businesses to improve in this area when so many don’t know what they’re doing wrong or why they lose customers. When customers are unhappy, they may not bother to complain and explain what the issue was. Yet 2017–2018 PwC data revealed that 17% of customers in the U.S. will walk away after one unpleasant experience. IA can help to create innovative and customized products and highly responsive, omnichannel customer services that are available 24/7. Based on my experience with IA, companies can increase the level of their customer satisfaction while reducing the contact center workload significantly.
IA has the potential to save millions of lives every year by supporting clinical trials, disease or injury prediction and avoiding medical errors. In developing countries, it could help reduce deaths from preventable causes (e.g., 1.6 million people died from diseases related to diarrhea in 2017) and compensate for the shortage of 12.9 million healthcare workers the WHO expects us to reach globally by 2035 by enabling remote diagnosis. And IA application Tissue Analytics already helps doctors record, track and analyze patient wounds.
In addition, McKinsey estimates that analytical techniques could create $9.5 trillion to $15.4 trillion in annual impact. They could do this by reducing the cost of fraud, errors and accidents. Indeed, IA could not only make transaction processes more efficient and reliable, but it could also generate log files for every action, creating transparency and ease of compliance.
Finally, IA could help us consider building a new, more human society — one that involves a new, more engaging definition of “work” and that would give us the time to refocus on what matters the most in our lives: family, love, taking care of others and our planet.
Read more here: Intelligent Automation Is About Boosting Business And Making Our World More Human