Intelligent Automation: Can Man and Machine Make AI Fully Possible?

With the swift development of IT and AI, it’s a challenge to keep up with terminology let alone their methodologies. Buzzwords pop up all the time, adding to the layman’s confusion; even the experts pause to think processes through.  The latest seems to be Intelligent Automation.  Ravi Pardesi, VP of Data Solutions for Innodata, a leading data engineering company, wrote a blog What Does Intellligent Automation Really Mean? in which he places humans and machines together in a chain of connections that are interdependent to define Intelligent Automation.  For starters, Pardesi states: “It drives organizations to explore untouched market opportunities, bringing complex changes to the current business models.”

However, Pardesi doesn’t really define Intelligent Automation; he talks around it to describe what it does or can do.

“Intelligent automation promises to reshape organizational structure and streamline complex routines. … Unfortunately, many organizations are unsure what really goes into implementing an intelligent automation strategy.”

He explains that “Intelligent automation is a holistic solution for the digital transformation of the operational business processes through a collaborative convergence of technologies and strategies.” It’s the connections of those technologies and strategies that make the reality of Intelligent Automation.

He then breaks down the steps under “Process Orchestration” – (This)” is the automation of data-driven business processes from end-to-end, including preparing data, making decisions based on that data, and taking actions based on those decisions.”  The process spans across multiple systems, departments, and kinds of data.  Therefore, essential to the process orchestration are Preparing Data “by cleansing, normalizing, and enriching it; Decision-Making by guiding decision about the enhanced data; Taking Action by working in other systems, merging them together with logic to get models to work properly.

Intelligent Automation - Process Orchestration - Strategies by Design Group

Pardesi pulls other operations into play: “Through the use of advanced tools and techniques such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and process orchestration, intelligent automation is designed to reduce the manual labor needed to perform multiple steps, ultimately resulting in:” – cutting costs, increasing productivity and accuracy and flexibility, and reducing turnaround time.

Then, when does the human fit in?

“In designing business processes with a focus on intelligent automation, it is important to realize the contribution of humans. Humans and automated processes must collaborate in the overall workflow to complement each other and compensate each other’s shortcomings.”

  • Exception Handling: a human must enter the workflow to either perform the task that automation could not or to correct the reasons that prevented the automation from finishing the task correctly.
  • Making Decision: the routing of the workflow based on the required parameters cannot be defined easily and requires a non-standard judgement.
  • Training Automated Tasks (AI & ML)intelligent automation is the perfect mix of art and science, human and machine.

Pardesi’s final word: “If anyone throws around the term “Intelligent Automation” at a conference or on a meeting, ask that person if what they are describing incorporates all of the strategies and technologies described above. Because that is truly the definition of intelligent automation.”