Spot The Difference: Artificial Intelligence Vs Intelligent Automation


With 2018 now behind us, last year one term stuck out more than any other in the technology field. Yes, it was the year of Artificial Intelligence, with companies bringing out more sophisticated versions of their AI solutions. From machine learning to ‘lights out’ production lines and robotics enabled supply chains, AI has caused a huge wave of excitement in the business world. But artificial intelligence shouldn’t be considered in isolation. Along with the evolution of AI, there comes intelligent automation – a technology that when used correctly has the power to be truly transformative for savvy businesses. But what exactly is the difference, and is one better than the other?

What’s the Difference?

On the surface it might seem like there are a lot of similarities between AI and intelligent automation. After all, both are technologies that support businesses with intelligent programming, actions and tasks. But there is one key difference:

Overall, intelligent automation provides the capability to automate both routine and non-routine tasks across a business. It is also capable of tackling processes that require judgement and problem-solving skills, creating a cognitive technology that compliments the human specialist skills of creativity, intuition and big-picture thinking.

How Can Businesses Benefit From Intelligent Automation?

In modern business, large-scale data analysis is often a key to success and productivity. In fact, according to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day – with 90% of the data in the world today only being created in the last 3 years. And thanks to the growth of mobile technology and digital infrastructures, data and information are everywhere. For organisations who are driven by data, this is both a blessing and a curse. There is almost more data than they know what to do with – but there is so much of it that it passes beyond a human’s ability to manage large quantities of complex data. But this is where intelligent automation really shines.

With an intelligent automation solution, businesses can amplify their ability to process and analyse information through automation, essentially taking care of the ‘heavy lifting’. Because intelligent automation is not just simple process automation, these programmes can actually understand what processes are relevant to the organisation’s operations, make intelligent decisions based on the information available and provide the business with exactly what it needs.

There are dozens of ways intelligent automation can benefit a business, but 4 key areas are:

It Can Handle Huge Data Volumes: Large-scale data processing is where intelligent automation thrives. Capable of processes thousands of data points a second and automating their route through the business based on what needs to go where, data processing has never been simpler. And because it needs little to no human interaction, businesses can redeploy their employees into more productive roles.

It’s Cost Effective: Manual data processing is time-consuming, and when done by a human it is hugely costly. By removing the human element, businesses can save money by utilising their employees for more valuable, revenue generating tasks.

It’s Accurate: Because of the complexity of the modern data landscape, large-scale manual analysis and processing is far too slow and incredibly prone to error. Intelligent automation enables consistent, efficient and accurate analysis every time – something that’s impossible for a human to achieve on a large scale.

It’s Driving Innovation: As the technology grows, the world is realising more of the potential for intelligent automation and machine learning to address large-scale societal issues. In their recent report, The Royal Society touches on the idea that these technologies could be used to shine a new light on risks like statistical stereotyping, climate change and even the way the government handles data.

Ultimately, there is no simple answer to the question of which is better, AI or intelligent automation. Instead, it’s by creating a blend of the two technologies that businesses can really see the true impact and benefits.

At Tocabot, we believe that it’s not about just enabling AI that can take over a human role. It’s about using technology to remove the friction caused in businesses by repeatable, manual tasks being done by humans, and instead using a business’s greatest asset (people) in the right places. This means partnering with technology that can free up that resource while still getting the job done efficiently, and support the human workforce in making their work better than ever. If you would like to know more about our AI and intelligent automation services, just get in touch with one of the team today.

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