Artificial Intelligence remains nascent in many industries, when do you think this will change?
We are already at a key juncture where the abundance of data and computing power and the popularization of AI algorithms is having an unprecedented impact on many industries. Business stakeholders are recognizing the power of recommendation engines, predictive analytics, classification & supervised learning from several consumer level applications and want to leverage AI for business purposes. We will see a flood of enterprise use-cases and the adoption will only accelerate with time.
Do you think companies’ employees should fear the arrival of automation? Or is it simply a case of their role evolving?
Automation is about humans and bots working together to create a hyper-productive digital workforce. Human potential is enormous. Certainly some jobs will be automated creating unprecedented ability to accelerate innovation by unshackling humans from mundane, repetitive tasks that machines can perform, quickly and free of errors.
There have been waves of automation in the past. The first era was in the 19th century when machines took away the dirty and dangerous tasks leading to creation of industrial equipment from looms to cotton gin relieving humans of manual labor. In the second era around the 20th century, machines took away the dull, with automated interfaces and with airline kiosks to call centers, relieving humans of routine service transactions. In this era, the third one, machines take away decisions with intelligent systems from airfare pricing to AI solutions that could make better, faster choices than humans.
What’s common in every era, is the human resilience to rise above. This wave or automation may seem scarier for people than previous ones, because it may be hard to see the higher ground to which humans might move. I see this not as a zero-sum game with machines taking over, but growing possibilities and opportunity for augmentation.
It's about talent augmentation rather than talent reduction.
Do you have an automation success story you would like to share? What was your role in the process?
There are a number of success stories we could discuss. For example, we helped a major global bank automate their banking transactions for higher efficiency and productivity and automated reporting.
We also worked on a project with a major retailer. They now use RPA to significantly enhance the factory to store to consumer turnaround time. Another pertinent example was that of a transportation and logistics provider, which now uses automation to audit and track every bill which is generated by its system.
Another example is a local US county health and human services agency in California, which now uses automation and bots for complex document verification processes involved in document processing & digitization of their legacy system. Results included significant improvements in turnaround time, streamlined rudimentary processes, document error reduction, reduced risk and overall cost savings.
One final example, is ANZ, Australia’s Fourth Leading Bank. Their goal was to be more agile in managing workload variability, reduce risk from error, and help employees acquire new skills. In the first six months, ANZ deployed about 100 Digital Workers (bots) and the bank is adding 100 more each quarter. Cost savings are over 40% and response by employees to opportunities to learn new skills and improve their productivity has been overwhelmingly positive. You can hear from both Simen Munter and Pankajam Sridevi, ANZ Global Hubs, who discuss the process here [https://www.automationanywhere.com/images/guides/practicioner-perspectives-anz.pdf]