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How AI is Revolutionizing Business Process Automation

by Alex Mansour

6 days ago · 3 min read

To most people, artificial intelligence sounds like something straight out of a science fiction movie. When people hear this term, they think of super-sophisticated systems that are trying to take over the world. In fact, artificial intelligence is one of the most controversial topics in the 21st century.

When you look at what some of the most innovative brains in the tech industry have to say, the controversial nature of the topic becomes more obvious. While Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg is excited about the applications of AI, Elon Musk says that this technology is one of humanity’s most dangerous inventions.

Asides from all of this controversy, what does artificial intelligence mean for business owners? The answer to that question is simple, which is better process automation. When combining the power of artificial intelligence, with business automation technologies, the possibilities are endless.

Business Automation Beyond Predefined Models

Despite the fact that process automation has helped countless businesses become more efficient, it has a major drawback, which is the predefined nature of traditional automation solutions.

In other words, business automation works in a very specific way. If something in the automated process changes, this might cause different types of errors, as the systems aren’t designed to deal with this. Traditional systems lack the dynamic support that’s needed to handle change. And that’s where artificial intelligence truly shines.

When artificial intelligence technologies are combined with traditional business process automation systems, the result is systems that can deal with contemporary business problems. Instead of having to pre-program everything, artificial intelligence allows systems to adapt to change and improve over time.

They become more like humans who are learning on the job and keep getting better at it. Unlike humans, machines can learn at a much faster rate, which results in a skill level that’s hard to reach by most human workers.

Systems that Keep Getting Better

There have been numerous experiments in which machine learning systems have outperformed their human counterparts. When AI technologies were still underdeveloped, the processes that could benefit from it were limited.

The reason was that machine learning algorithms weren’t sophisticated enough to understand complex processes. Nowadays, there is no limit to what machine learning can do. Even in something as complicated as E-Sport, machine learning has successfully outperformed human players.

Considering the complex nature of these games, this has been a major milestone for the entire machine learning sector. Big companies like Facebook -whose founder is a big AI enthusiast- has been doing intensive research on the technology and its applications.

The fact that machine learning systems keep getting better makes the ROI of such projects tempting for any business. It’s like getting an employee that works for the company forever, and endlessly making it better.

Improving Human Workers’ Performance

A big misconception about business automation is that it’s all about eliminating human jobs. Many people perceive this technology as a threat to their jobs while in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Asides from generating more better-paying jobs in the tech sector, the combination of AI and business process automation help human workers perform better.

In the past, business process automation was nothing more than automated reactions. When a specific action occurs, automated systems perform a pre-defined action. This was the case until predictive analytics technology became more popular.

This technology allows systems to analyze different situations and recommend actions based on these conclusions. These actions are recommended to make dealing with such situations more effectively in the future. The result for your human workers is faster learning and business decisions that’ll benefit your business in the long run.

Real-Life Examples

AI-powered process automation is not some wild speculation for what the future of technology holds. It’s something that’s already being used by many companies to make their work processes better and more efficient. The following are how two of the world’s biggest companies are using these technologies.

American Express

With more than 110 million AmEx cards in operation, American Express has a ton of data to analyze. This is something that they need to do in order to prevent fraud. If this were to be done using traditional methods, American Express would need an army of analysts, working 24/7 and even then, the results won’t be as good.

Instead, they’re using cutting-edge machine learning algorithms to automate the process, make it better, all while saving on labor costs. As the fraud methods become more and more complicated, so is the algorithm created to detect them.

Netflix

Ever wondered how Netflix decides which shows to invest it? It’s big data!

Instead of trying to guess which shows people enjoy most and as a result, decide which new ones to invest in, Netflix automates this process with AI technology. The analytics algorithm analysis the viewing patterns of millions of subscribers and based on that gives the decision-makers solid recommendations for which shows to invest in.

If this process was to be done manually, the results will never be as accurate and it’ll cost the company much more money over time.

Conclusion

While business process automation is great by itself, technologies like artificial intelligence are making it even better. The right automation process can take your business to a whole new level when combined with the power of artificial intelligence.

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