In this day and age, where the tech industry is working towards developing new & innovative ways to build non-intrusive technologies that assist in managing data & interactions in an accurate, effective and secure manner, the current wave of Robotics seems to be bringing this change to the industry using the realms of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and RPA (Robotic Process Automation).
Now, as this new wave unravels, people seem to view this as ‘The Age of the Terminator Dawning’ and with it comes a sense of reluctance in adapting to the technology, along with unanswered questions such as: ‘How secure is the data being processed by a machine? Is this future proof? Sustainable?’ And so on…
Although not an ardent fan of Robotics myself, but now that I’ve seen both the functionalities by being on either side of the fence, here’s my perspective on what it is doing and it can do for businesses.
With roots anchored deep in the Service Industry, where connotations such as “The Customer is always Right” being driven deep into our value systems, I have and will continue to believe that AI would never be able to outdo a human interaction, especially in a service oriented industry. Hey, call me old fashioned, but as much as AI has evolved with things like emotional intelligence being embedded in, it has never quite been able to provide an experience which is at par to a human interaction.
However, I do though feel AI and RPA can do a phenomenal job for a consumer in the non-interactive segments, and in industries where data accuracy, turn-around time & data security is critical as:
Accuracy: The BOTs, as we call them, are programmed to a predefined set of rules that are created depending on the process the customer would like it to follow. Now if there are ten steps to be executed in a logical means, once programmed, that is exactly what the BOT will do and in the process, wouldn’t skip a step, get distracted or even get tired after processing hundreds or even thousands of interactions. With a BOT, interaction 1 to interaction 1000 are the same, with no difference in quality or accuracy of service provided and no slowing down due to fatigue. These though are traits that although we wish to see in a human, may not practically be possible, as the human body can do/take only so much and might get it wrong at times, but a BOT wont.
Turn-Around Time, or as we call TAT: There are many industries where Turn Around Time of a transaction is a critical factor. Now if a transaction is not processed within the expected time, an entire interaction may fail, leaving the customer dissatisfied. With a BOT, this challenge gets eliminated, as tasks as simple as sending payment reminders to processing complicated insurance claims can all be processed and completed even before you have had the opportunity of thinking through it.
Data Security: BOTs aren’t only accurate and faster than a speeding bullet, they are also secure. The question though on everyone’s mind is, how can something that’s built off some computer code be secure, especially since almost anyone with a laptop or smartphone and understanding of some basic code is able to hack into a system. Well here’s the truth, unless someone manages hacking into your organizations firewalls, and then into your secure servers, and lay their hands on your core data, hacking into the BOTs code does nothing, and this is because the code written for a BOT, if done right, stores nothing at all. What a BOT basically does is, it accesses only the information you have provided it access to, and then uses it to process an interaction, during which it does not store ANYTHING or even leave a trace of what it has touched. So, if there is actually a leak of any confidential, organizational data, it is not because of the BOT but because there’s a bigger vulnerability in the security system that would need immediate attention.
In conclusion, yes, like every other technology that exists, Robotics has its own restrictions, such as, BOTs cannot automatically adapt to change, BOTs aren’t yet capable make non-programmed decisions, etc… It is however going to be interesting to watch how Robotics & AI evolve and work around their current restrictions.
With that being put in perspective, I can now proudly state that I am today a believer, and that Robotics (AI & RPA) are here to stay and stay for good. So brace yourselves, as this is one that is going to sweep us off our feet.