Digital transformation technologies such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI) are words often thrown around in meeting rooms as a way to drive efficiency and save cost. The recent hype about these technologies is backed by strong growth, with the global RPA and AI markets expected to reach $25.56 billion by 2027 and $390.9 billion by 2025, respectively (Grand View Research). But despite these staggering numbers, people still have a lot of confusion about the differences between the two and how they are applied in everyday operations. In our latest article, we’ll look at the difference between RPA and AI and the hype around these technologies. In the RPA vs. AI debate, we’ll look at these two technologies separately and when they should be used together.

So, What is RPA?

To understand RPA vs. AI, it is critical to study the two technologies separately. RPA is a software code that can interact with digital systems, taking all the mundane, repetitive tasks from humans so that they can focus on more value-added work. In other words, RPA bots can be your assistants who take away the mind-numbing work you hate doing. This technology works best when handling structure, rule-based processes. These processes should include workflows that don’t change over time or require a lot of human intervention for handling exceptions. On its own, RPA can automate several time-consuming tasks such as:

  • Logging into applications
  • Connecting to system APIs
  • Copying and pasting data
  • Extracting and processing content from documents
  • Opening emails and attachments
  • Scraping data from the web

RPA Augments People With Automation

RPA bots can’t learn from repetitions. It performs the same way every time and cannot improvise the process unless they are programmed to do so. Contrary to popular belief, RPA doesn’t make people redundant. Rather, they assist them by taking up repetitive, time-consuming, straightforward tasks. There are several benefits of using RPA bots, including:

  • Accuracy: eliminate human errors
  • Compliance: follow regulatory rules and create audit trails
  • Efficiency: Finish tasks almost 4- to 5-times faster
  • Reliable: if programmed correctly, bot work 24×7, reducing unwanted delays
  • Customer and Employee Satisfaction: Speed and accuracy ensure that employees and customers are satisfied with the quality of work and service.

In conclusion, RPA is a great technology to automate straightforward processes. Using Artificial Intelligence alongside RPA is advisable when business processes are more complex, and you’d like to take automation to the next level.

RPA vs. AI

What is AI?

AI is a disruptive technology that is often used alongside RPA robots. RPA and AI work in tandem to increase the scope of automation and complete complex processes. Simply defined, AI is the simulation of human intelligence tasks by computer systems. These tasks include learning, reasoning, and self-correction. AI uses data to perform these human intelligence processes, and some of the common applications of AI include machine vision, speech recognition, chatbots, image recognition, etc.

Since almost every organization has both structured and unstructured data, many processes require RPA and AI to work together to achieve end-to-end automation. AI is deployed to handle the complex process that was previously done by only humans. Today’s AI-enabled robots can make decisions using large data sets and predict several possible outcomes in each scenario. Unlike RPA, AI can not only execute but also reason. For instance, an AI-enabled bot can:

  • Understand conversations and documents
  • Visualize screens
  • Discover tasks and processes to automate
  • Process language
  • Handle semi-structured or unstructured data

Also read: Business Process Automation: Understanding the Difference Between BPA, RPA and BPM

RPA vs. AI: Clearing the Air

RPA is different from AI in terms of its applications and performance. While RPA is used alongside people to automate repetitive processes, AI is seen as a technology that replaces human labor and provides end-to-end automation of complex processes. Another notable difference is that RPA uses structured data and logic, while AI can handle unstructured inputs and develop its logic.

The Combined Force of RPA and AI

RPA vs. AI is not the right question; instead, you should consider combining RPA and AI since the collective power of these digital transformation technologies can change your entire process and make it more efficient and scalable. After all, end-to-end automation is key to offering the self-service options that your customers always wanted.

If you’d like to know how Nuummite Consulting can help you deploy RPA and AI at your organization, then contact us today. We’ll show you how you can use these technologies to drive operational efficiency and transform the way your company works.