Could Robots Actually Create More Jobs?

But a new study from Redwood Software and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) offers a bit of an antidote.

The report looked at trends in robotics automation in 23 countries over the past 20 years to quantify their impact on GDP per capita and labor productivity. The analysis revealed that robotics now adds more value to the economy than traditionally lucrative industries like financial services and transportation. However, that compared to job growth indicates that we actually aren’t losing workers to automation.

“There is clear evidence that points toward robotic automation in many cases being a complement for human labor, rather than a direct substitute,” said David Whitaker, managing economist at CEBR, in a statement. He asserted that mundane tasks are the ones being automated. As such, Whitaker said, “Human effort becomes more valuable as it is focused on higher-level tasks, creativity, know-how, and thinking.”

Investment in robotics has a greater positive impact on the economy than more established sectors such as information technology, construction, and real estate, according to the report. A 1% increase in robotics investment, the report says, correlates with an increase in GDP per capita of 0.03%.

The report revealed that the U.S. is leading the charge to invest in automation technologies with an estimated robotics stock of $732 billion.

As for the jobs themselves, Neil Kinson, chief of staff at Redwood Software, believes that robotics automation is actually increasing the total number of jobs available. Indeed, the U.S. economy added over 2 million jobs for 75 months since 2009. Like Whitaker, Kinson maintains that work will ultimately change. “The increased level of automation investment highlights the need to rethink how we approach the skill sets needed in the workplace, and the importance of working with automation,” he said, “and not against it.”

Source: FastCompany-Could Robots Actually Create More Jobs? 

How this NYC startup is using bots to create a more human workforce

At seven-year-old startup WorkFusion, employees are working at the helm of what they call ‘intelligent automation.’

The New York company is in the business of Robotic Process Automation, with the lofty goal of building the future of work. Their software can sift through massive volumes of content and make intelligent decisions — automating menial, low-impact tasks that take up 40 percent of workers’ days, and up to 90 percent of a person’s manual work.

WorkFusion was founded by Max Yankelevich and Andrew Volkov out of the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab in 2011. Now, backed by over $71 million in venture capital, the company digitizes business tasks and operations, including processes like accounts payable, customer onboarding and chatbots that increase service capabilities.

We caught up with Adam Devine, WorkFusion’s Head of Marketing, to discuss what the company is up to now, and how that will play into its long-term vision of using software to reduce the “carbon footprint” of companies’ business operations by driving rapid productivity by way of artificial intelligence.

In laymen’s terms, what is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a technology that uses software bots to perform repetitive tasks on legacy systems. RPA tools operate the user interfaces of enterprise applications such as Citrix, Oracle and SAP to automate routine actions such as data entry, insurance claims payouts, information verification and send responses by following programmed rules. RPA reduces human resources required for high-volume business processes. It can greatly improve the quality and speed of processing for shared services organizations – especially within data-intensive industries such as banking, financial services, insurance and healthcare.

In what ways will RPA change the future of work in the short-term?

There have been many recent headlines on robotics eliminating jobs. RPA doesn’t fully replace jobs; it redistributes menial tasks from a workers’ day and frees up time for them to focus on more complex tasks. Software bots complete these tasks faster, and with fewer errors, and people are elevated to work that requires their intelligence and critical thinking. Those who incorporate RPA into their processes and workflows will see big efficiency gains.

In the long term?

RPA is the first step to digitization. Once adopted, many businesses see its impact and want to expand their automation efforts. RPA is often a stepping stone to intelligent automation, which uses machine learning to automate business processes with more variability and judgment work. It applies natural language processing, optical character recognition (OCR), image recognition and more to gain context and make judgments, and it can learn over time. By pairing RPA with these cognitive technologies, enterprises minimize operational bottlenecks and support high-level jobs and workers through automation. This combination can have a far-reaching impact, improving everything from productivity to lowering the bottom line to customer relationships to employee engagement by freeing workers of boring, mundane work.

In what ways does WorkFusion digitize business?

The expectations for real-time output has increased and businesses are struggling to meet this demand. WorkFusion’s automation tools are being applied to a number of horizontal and industry-specific processes. Horizontally, our RPA tool automates and eliminates the ‘swivel chair’ work of entering credentials, navigating application user interfaces and performing core systems functions.

Vertically, there are many industries benefiting from our solutions. In the insurance industry, for example, WorkFusion’s AI capabilities are being used to take over the first step in the claims process to match customer information in databases. It’s also being used for regulatory compliance, handling tasks such as LEI mapping and verifying customers, as well as fact checking and reconciling life insurance claims to detect fraud. In banking, our AI-powered chatbots are trained on historical conversations so they can perform the same tasks as a human agent, such as answering customer questions or even fixing an invoice without burdening people. These are just some examples of how we’re digitizing operations.

How is it possible that WorkFusion eliminates 90 percent of manual work?

Our software bots and cognitive technologies are used for work that requires little to no human intervention to incredibly high-volume back- and front-office tasks. Our AI capabilities learn highly manual tasks in any industry with the need for data scientists – and get smarter over time.

What’s in the pipeline for WorkFusion this year?

In the coming weeks, WorkFusion will be releasing RPA Express, a free tool, to the general public. The beta, released in December, sparked great interest in the product, with hundreds of companies signing up. This tool is a great way for companies to get started or accelerate their digitization efforts and get quick wins and efficiency-gains with no cost or risk. Another project we’re excited about is the launch of our public education portal ‘Automation University’ this summer to help operations and IT teams learn more about RPA. The free materials, classes and exams offered will help organizations grow the maturity of their skill base.

If WorkFusion hits the market right, then what?

We were founded in and have been building our solutions since 2011. We often joke that we were four years too early for the market. The demand for and adoption of Process Automation tools is just becoming more widespread, but we’re ready to capitalize on it. We’ve got a strong customer base already seeing results and believe our RPA Express solution – the world’s first free RPA product – will attract many more that want to begin or accelerate their digitization efforts and will eventually grow into the full breadth of intelligent automation capabilities that WorkFusion provides.

The global RPA market alone is expected to reach $8.75 billion by 2024. And that’s just RPA. When looking at robotics and related services more broadly, this number is expected to reach $135 billion globally by 2019. We also see a big opportunity to take some of the nearly $63.5 billion global business process outsourcing market – our automation technology is already taking over many tasks traditionally outsourced to companies overseas.

Source: builtinnyc.com-How this NYC startup is using bots to create a more human workforce

Robotic Process Automation Takes on the Data Challenge

A relatively new field, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), is best thought of as robotics. The key difference is that the thing being manipulated at lightning fast speeds is data, not automobiles or electronics.

RPA is the performance by bots of repetitive rules-based processes that involve databases and other forms of structured data (such as data captured in databases). It is used in data-intensive industries such as banking, financial services, insurance and health care, according to Adam Devine, vice president and head of marketing for WorkFusion. “In fewer words, RPA helps companies do with technology what they did before with people.”

It is a technology whose time has come. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data – interrelated disciplines that collect and analyze huge amounts of data, respectively – makes RPA a necessary tool, not something that is nice to have, but not mission-critical.

A Booming RPA Market Potential

 The demand for RPA is clearly showing up in the numbers. “We have seen projections of 60 percent compounded annual growth rate,” wrote David Schatsky, the managing director of Deloitte LLP, in response to emailed questions. “There is no question that here in the U.S., interest is very strong.”

Ian Barkin, the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Symphony Ventures, holds an even more upbeat view of the category’s potential. “[W]hite-collar office jobs are everywhere; this is a service economy after all,” Barkin wrote. “So, yes, RPA robots have a much bigger impact. Our estimates are that there is a $2.5 to $3 trillion market for middle and back-office work addressable in Shared Services centers alone.”

RPA and Jobs

The impact of RPA mirrors concerns about automation and physical robotics. It is impossible to say exactly how it will play out, but the early indications are that the outcome will be positive.

The negative interpretation is simple: RPA will replace people. The more positive (and perhaps more nuanced) outlook layer, though, starts with the idea that the emergence of Big Data and the IoT will make it impossible for people to accurately process enough data to keep up. Humans would become the limiting factor. Thus, RPA doesn’t eliminate jobs – it makes new areas of work possible.

These people will be freed up for advanced training and, ultimately, more challenging jobs. “For every task that a machine automates, a human is elevated to a new, more complex task,” Devine wrote in response to emailed questions from IT Business Edge. “By redistributing repetitive tasks to robots – even those that can’t be scripted with rules – companies can use their human capital for tasks that really need human intelligence. This promotes capacity and competitive advantage within a company thanks to cost reduction and speed gains (robotics complete these tasks faster, and with fewer errors). This means more jobs, deeper skill sets, improved productivity, and the chance for humans to put their creative power toward future innovation.”

While a technology that starts by reducing the work force seems threatening, the end result could be to free people from mental drudgery. “We should embrace the technology of automation as not only a digital revolution, but also an intellectual revolution where we allow robots to take over repetitive, boring tasks and move forward to more challenging roles that involve problem-solving, critical thinking and creativity that will deliver more value to our work and even enrich our lives,” he wrote.

Francine Haliva, the head of marketing for Kryon Systems, listed dozens of new work titles that RPA will make possible. She added that there are different levels of RPA technologies. Some run on virtual machines and are more or less self-contained. Others are deployed on the employees’ desktops to support work that he or she is doing. “With ‘attended’ automation, human workers can trigger automation processes right from their desktop, at the time of need,” she wrote. “This dramatically cuts time to proficiency for anyone operating new applications or software release, reduces errors, increases productivity and improves job satisfaction.”

Schatsky agrees that the idea of RPA may be freeing. “Over time, we may see people’s jobs evolve, from interacting with systems in routine ways to performing tasks that require more judgement and flexibility,” he wrote. “But we haven’t seen large-scale job losses associated with RPA so far. Automation often, but not always, evolves, changing people’s jobs, rather than entirely eliminating jobs.”

Whatever the details are, RPA as a category is expanding rapidly.

“From our vantage point, it’s exploding,” wrote Symphony Ventures’ Barkin. “All major enterprises are now asking the question, ‘Can we automate this?’ first, rather than ‘Can we centralize, nearshore, offshore, outsource, etc.?’ That has happened only in the last two years. 2017 is going to be a frantic race for all enterprises to prove that transformation is going digital in meaningful and impactful ways.”

Source: itbusinessedge.com-Robotic Process Automation Takes on the Data Challenge

The hidden figures behind automation

The current job description of an accounts payable clerk will disappear in possibly as little as 20 years. This may seem bleak, but the reality is that software advances, developments in robotics, AI and machine learning are bringing a new age of automation — one in which machines will be able to outperform humans in various work tasks.

According to McKinsey Global institute’s January 2017 report on the future of automation, nearly half of the activities that people are paid to do in the global economy can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technology. Activities most susceptible to this automation are repetitive, non-creative tasks such as data collection and processing. This puts at risk many jobs in customer service, sales, invoicing, account management and other data entry positions, not the least of which includes AP clerks.

However, these projections don’t necessarily mean that the future is hopeless for those holding AP positions. In McKinsey’s words, “People will need to continue working alongside machines to produce the growth in per capita GDP to which countries around the world aspire.”

Skilled employees will work alongside software automation and RPA (robotic process automation) to approve data analyzation, guide software in the right direction and even perform tasks that we may not know exist yet. This will require some new skills-based learning, but it is also an opportunity for AP department employees to step out from behind the curtain, develop their job descriptions and have more interesting and meaningful jobs. Employees will be able to focus on raising their profile, supporting the business with more meaningful work, providing good internal service, and in turn, be more motivated.

Reckon this is wishful thinking? Think again. It’s been done before.

After all, the first “computers” wore skirts.
In the early decades of the 1900s, mathematical and technical calculations were made manually rather than by machine. This work required a large workforce to compute all the information. With the industrial boom brought on by WWII, organizations like NASA began recruiting women for this work, who they called “computers.” It has even been said that “the first computers wore skirts.”

Eventually, as the machines we know today as computers began to develop, many of these manual tasks were automated. Rather than discarding the women that had previously done this job, NASA and other organizations simply retrained employees to work alongside these machines and perform less menial tasks. This conscious step allowed the women who had been the quiet backbone of the organization to make themselves and their work known.

One example recently made popular by the book and award-winning film Hidden Figures is that of African-American physicist and mathematician Katherine Johnson and her team. Johnson worked as a “computer” on NASA’s early team from 1953-1958, where she analyzed topics such as gust alleviation for aircrafts. When NASA used electronic computers for the first time to calculate John Glenn’s first orbit around the earth, officials asked Johnson to verify the computer’s numbers and her reputation for accuracy helped establish confidence in the new technology. Johnson herself went on to use these new computers to aid in calculations until her retirement in 1986. Similarly, the value of AP clerks and other accounting professionals will shift as they become valuable as human analysts and strategists, vital in the role of validating a machine’s processes.

These kinds of shifts can be seen throughout history, like in the move away from agriculture and decreases in manufacturing share of employment in the United States, both of which were accompanied by the creation of new types of work not foreseen at the time.

We can expect a similar response to automation in the accounts payable department. As AP software becomes more advanced, clerks and controllers will evolve to work with it, not be replaced by it. The important work of AP clerks will no longer be in the shadows. The job will be transformed from “paper pusher” to vital business asset.

Source: accountingtoday.com-The hidden figures behind automation

How to supercharge robotic process automation

Enterprises across industries have deployed RPA with cognitive technologies to automate routine business processes such as fulfilling purchase orders. (Image: Deloitte)

Robotic process automation (RPA), technology that lets software robots replicate the actions of human workers for routine tasks such as data entry, is altering the way organizations handle many of their key business and IT processes.

Advances in automation and robotics are putting a lot of jobs at risk. Here are ten jobs first in line for the robot takeover.

 

When RPA is used in conjunction with cognitive technologies, its capabilities can be significantly expanded.

“The integration of cognitive technologies with RPA makes it possible to extend automation to processes that require perception or judgment,” said David Schatsky, managing director at consulting firm Deloitte.

“With the addition of natural language processing, chatbot technology, speech recognition, and computer vision technology, for instance, bots can extract and structure information from speech audio, text, or images and pass that structured information to the next step of the process,” Schatsky said.

In another example Schatsky cited, machine learning can identify patterns and make predictions about process outcomes, helping RPA prioritize actions. “Cognitive RPA has the potential to go beyond basic automation to deliver business outcomes such as greater customer satisfaction, lower churn, and increased revenues,” he said.

In a report Schatsky authored in 2016, called “Robotic Process Automation: A Path to the Cognitive Enterprise,” he noted that enterprises are beginning to employ RPA together with cognitive technologies such as speech recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning to automate perceptual and judgment-based tasks once reserved for humans.

The integration of cognitive technologies and RPA is extending automation to new areas and can help companies become more efficient and agile as they move down the path of becoming fully digital businesses, the report said.

Processes that require human judgment within complex scenarios, such as complex claims processing, can’t be automated through RPA alone, the report noted. It cited one RPA vendor as saying even its most mature clients automate at most 50 percent of back-office processes, and the majority of clients automate far fewer.

Cognitive RPA has the potential to go beyond basic automation to provide business outcomes such as enhanced customer satisfaction, lower churn, and increased revenues, the report said.

The Deloitte report provided an example of a leading global bank that used cognitive RPA to automate 57 percent of its payments work in the highly regulated area of foreign trade finance.

The challenges of automating this process end-to-end included: the need to work with highly unstructured data such as invoices, bills, declarations, certificates, and letters; a high daily volume of transactions that needed same-day processing; and the need to interface with multiple core systems. The solution combined traditional RPA techniques with several cognitive technologies to automate most steps in the process.

Leading RPA vendors are incorporating cognitive technologies into their offerings, and large RPA providers are partnering with vendors of cognitive technologies. For example, Blue Prism and IBM Watson have partnered to bring cognitive capabilities to customers.

Enterprises across industries such as banking, insurance, and transportation have deployed RPA with cognitive technologies to automate routine business processes such as fulfilling purchase orders and new hire on-boarding, the report said.

Source: ZDNet-How to supercharge robotic process automation

Five questions to ask before considering robotic process automation

Speed. Efficiency. Higher quality. Lower costs. These are the key benchmarks by which enterprise IT has been measured since the earliest days of its existence. These outcomes have always been achieved by some combination of man and machine, but with advances in cloud and digital technology, the balance is shifting away from human labor and moving toward technology-driven solutions.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the rise of Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Software robots are increasingly performing important and onerous tasks that have traditionally been done by humans: taking over work processes, manipulating data, communicating between systems, and processing and recording transactions.

Not surprisingly, RPA can do these tasks at a fraction of the cost of human equivalents, with dramatic improvement in quality and reliability. In fact, in the healthcare industry, one RPA bot – which can be procured at a cost of $10,000 -$15,000 – can process claims at the rate of 5-10 humans working full-time. Not to mention RPA allows businesses to dramatically reengineer and improve key processes.

Even the jobs question is not as sticky as one might expect. It’s true that full-time equivalent savings are essential to the business case for investing in RPA, and this often sets the stage for conflict between those advocating for RPA and those whose positions will be eliminated. However, there is a silver lining found in two essential elements of all RPA implementations:

1. The ability to move humans from routine, rote jobs into higher-value roles with work that is far more engaging increases employee satisfaction and often fills open positions with staff that have “tribal knowledge” that would take new employees years to build

2. Organizations seem to gain a greater appreciation for the importance of organizational change management – the communications, expectation management and planning – that lays the groundwork for successfully transferring work from humans to robots.

So, with relatively little investment and simple implementation, RPA may seem like an opportunity no-brainer – but realizing the real payoff of automation requires some careful deliberation. Here are five questions to ask when considering RPA for the first time:

1. Where are your pain points?

Where in your organization are humans spinning their wheels with repetitive and mundane tasks that take them away from more important, higher value work? Where are kinks hindering the workflow? Where are employees transferring data from one application to another or keying in large volumes of information by hand. Where are errors most likely to occur? Where is your staff not able to meet your SLA’s? Pinpointing these scenarios in your organization will help you create an “automate-ability map,” a picture of the processes that may be easily “automatable” with RPA tools. Start with a small number of these use cases so you can talk about the application of RPA in concrete terms and deliver quick results.

2. What are your priorities for an investment in automation?

After mapping out which processes in your environment are automatable, develop and evaluate the business case for doing so. Estimating the investment and the potential advantages for a particular use case is a smart way to initiate the RPA conversation with leadership. Enterprises across industries – including insurance, banking, telecommunications and manufacturing – are creating compelling business cases for deploying RPA to process invoices for payment or generate weekly reports that once required people to extract data from one application into a spreadsheet and manually save it into another. Estimated time and cost savings, and accurate estimates of what it will take to configure and deploy the automation, should be an important part of the decision matrix.

3. How ready is your organization for change?

Automating business processes with RPA requires more than simply giving people a head’s up that change is coming. The scope, nature and complexity of the processes being automated will determine the requirements for managing organizational change, which impacts the broader culture and operating characteristics of the organization. Managing major change is part art and part science. Before you dive into the RPA pool, determine your organization’s aptitude for change, organizational redesign and transition planning. Also take the time to determine the complexity of the automation scripts you are considering implementing so you know what change management practices will be needed, in which functional areas and across which parts of the business.

4. What is IT’s role?

Even though RPA tools can be implemented by business users and, once up and running, require relatively few IT resources, it’s important to involve IT early on – even as early as the consideration phase. RPA is a corporate asset; if it is going to deliver its full potential in terms of process automation and data integration, it needs to be configured correctly on a secure server in the IT environment and included in IT’s critical processes that support security management and back up/contingency planning. RPA also can be considered a boon to IT, since many times it can be leveraged by business users to automate requests that are otherwise pending with IT, thus reducing the backlog list of modifications and enhancements IT needs to deliver.
5. What are the security requirements for this particular initiative?

IT will need to know how your RPA tools are going to interact with IT infrastructure and applications. Credentials will be required to enable your bots to access network resources and interface with applications and file structures. Remember that bots often have an advantage here – while human workers may browse the Internet, shop and share information across contacts, RPA tools will execute only the scripts or commands they are programmed to execute, making them more secure than many human users. Still, be prepared to have the conversation with IT about how to credential RPA tools and how to govern their access to the network.

Thinking through these considerations upfront can make both the business and the CIO winners. By freeing workers from dull and monotonous back-office processes – and by offsetting the IT work required to support countless applications throughout the enterprise – RPA can set up the business to make higher-order, more creative work happen, all while driving savings to bottom line.

Source: information-management.com-Five questions to ask before considering robotic process automation

Robotics Process Automation Deja Vu

Those of us who have been around the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) world are starting to get a sense of déjà vu. More and more companies are expecting non-technology resources within the organization to know how to use RPA. Although RPA technologies were originally intended for business resources to more easily develop and manage automation, it really wasn’t realistic as software providers promised: “If you can use Excel Macros, you can use X RPA solution.”

So what should be the make-up of a successful RPA implementation team?

Reality bites

When the rubber meets the road at the outset of an implementation, it becomes very clear that “macro monkeyswere building robots that had one of two problems:

  1. They broke when they got to real-world situations.
  2. They were not maintainable in the long run.

In fact, not only was it not possible for business resources to create reliable, real-world automation, but even hard-core technical resources needed a certain aptitude and specialized training. To develop good automation, specific engineering discipline is required, and most developers need training to cultivate it.

The rise of the machines

As RPA has risen in popularity over the last year or two, we have seen a resurgence in expectations that business resources will be able to develop automation. Is there hope that we will be successful this time around? Spoiler alert: It is possible, but definitely not easy.

At Cognizant, we call our vision “Robot Utopia” (more on that in a future post). Robot Utopia makes heavy use of the ability of business resources to identify, build, execute, monitor, and maintain automation.

Key automation ingredients

Our research on this is not yet complete, but there are a couple of principles I’d like to share with you.

The first is that the business resources cannot be trusted to engineer a good solution. But when properly trained, they can identify opportunities that are the foundation for creating reliable components for automation. It is very important to have professional automation engineers involved to provide reliable reusable components (think Lego blocks).

The second major lesson relates to engagement. The business resources have a real job to do and they will only invest in automation to the extent that automation will make their job easier. Convincing them to spend their time learning relevant automation techniques, and then building, operating, and maintaining automation is a critical component.

The edge of tomorrow

If business resources are going to be part of your RPA development strategy, take special care not to repeat the mistakes of the past. The best way that I can recommend to do that is to work closely with a partner who has experience in exactly these matters. Ask the tough questions. Get comfortable with the plan and make sure that your partner has attended this rodeo before.

Source: digitally.cognizant.com-Robotics Process Automation Deja Vu

RPA Technical Insights, Part 21: Transformation Begins With Education, A Guide to RPA Training Documentation – Symphony

This is part 21 of a 22 part blog series by the leading experts at Symphony Ventures. It addresses how to choose the right RPA tools for your business needs. Drawing from our global team’s extensive knowledge in automation consulting, implementation, and managed services across a range of diverse industries, we’ve drilled into the technical criteria to consider when selecting which RPA software best enables your company’s digital operation strategy.

Read part 20, Why You Shouldn’t Blindly Pile Work Onto Your Automation.

When choosing which RPA tool to employ, the maturity of the vendor’s support and training services should contribute to your decision-making process. Vendors strive to make their products powerful yet accessible, often supplementing training material and additional assistance to ease the transition to RPA. If you are new to this technology, this material can prove to be invaluable in getting you started.

The Importance of Basic Training Material

The focus of this blog is training documentation. Offerings like structured training materials are extremely useful for getting developers and users off the ground in terms of understanding how to use the software. These often come in the form of user manuals, with pages of structured content that walk a user through a development path. Ideally, they can be downloaded and viewed offline, allowing for easy access and readability. Having a user manual or training guide present and accessible means that users will have a baseline understanding of the tools abilities, which are invaluable when it comes to design and deployment.

The Growing Popularity of Video Tutorials

Aside from training manuals, other forms of visually informative content like video tutorials are being produced by a few top RPA vendors. A training video, for example, can provide a demonstration of the step-by-step process of designing a practical workflow or how to use one of the tools abilities. This sort of content is best presented in a format that viewers can follow along to. In general, you will find that visual training materials are especially helpful for RPA, since most RPA software utilize a visual interface.

Other Training Outlets

As a seeker of RPA information, you might have noticed that vendor training content is relatively scarce. Fortunately, this may not be true for long. The RPA world is currently undergoing a massive expansion of training materials and opportunities to improve accessibility and meet growing demand. Some of the top vendors are currently developing online training courses, to provide comprehensive e-learning environments. E-learning is beneficial because it offers the whole suite of training, practicing, and testing.

There are other outlets to receive training outside of vendor supported material. For instance, Symphony host RPA and AI training workshops in collaboration with The Global Sourcing Association (GSA UK). These are not designed as development courses, but rather focus on technical and business subjects, aiming to teach participants how to strategize their business around RPA. Outside of these, Symphony offers specialized training for clients as one of our main services. So, be on the lookout for these if you want to gain valuable knowledge from the experts and grow your internal capabilities.

Summary

In today’s fast-paced, digital environment, it is critical to avoid being slowed down by a lack of proper training. It is prudent to expect your RPA vendor or service provider to give the necessary tools to help your team succeed. Whether it is a structured manual, training guide or a series of video tutorials, make sure that quality training material is available. Most of all, don’t hesitate to reach out to the experts, like Symphony, for advice. We try our best to provide the proper tools and education to help your business succeed with RPA.

Be sure not to miss the last part of our RPA Technical Insights, where investigate the benefits of comprehensive implementation support from RPA vendors.

Source: symphonyhq.com RPA Technical Insights, Part 21: Transformation Begins With Education, A Guide to RPA Training Documentation – Symphony

Service Robots Open New Avenues for an Automated Workforce

Robots are no longer a Sci-Fi dream, and are well on their way to establishing a reality that we all fantasized about. Artificial intelligence coupled with advancing technology has ensured that the next generation robots are brought to the aid of the service sector. The bots are finally demonstrating a remarkable ability to perform hard, dangerous, or menial jobs. These include tasks such as moving around heavy objects, providing customer assistance, aiding disabled people & patients, or even for security purposes in the defense sector. The service robotics industry is touted to soon take over from the human work in the next few years. This is due to its increasing adoption by diverse verticals for domestic as well as commercial purposes.

Warming up these cold machines, the populace is slowly accepting that robots make lives much easier and fruitful by saving them a lot of time. The exciting possibilities of employing the use of these intelligent machines in different applications has promised great potential for the service robotics market. Experts at Allied Market Research have observed that professional service robots contribute to a greater share in total market revenues, as compared to personal service ones. The industry promises endless prospects for tapping the potential of these smart bots.

Agro-robots: Revolutionizing agricultural techniques

The humble farmer who usually brings the grain to our table will soon be a state-of-the-art intelligent machine. Agriculture industry is set to witness a major revamp as increasing number of farm jobs can be accomplished by using robots. The bots will soon replace human labor force in agriculture, and eliminate the high costs associated with employing people to sow and harvest crops. The rising demand for essential food crops can be met with the deployment of robots in the various farm activities and minimize the time taken by each task.

Robotic engineers and researchers are coming up with new innovations to program robots for working in the agriculture sector. For instance, researchers from UK’s Harper Adams University have attempted to grow and harvest a complete hectare of cereal crops through intelligent machines. The project is entitled as Hands Free Hectare, and is based on the idea of precision farming. It aims to completely do away with the need for human workforce on the field. The project is one of the most ambitious projects, as it had been led in collaboration with precision farming specialist, Precision Decisions.

“We believe there is now no technological barrier to automated field agriculture. This project gives us the opportunity to prove this,” says Kit Franklin, one of the Hands Free Hectare researchers at Harper Adams University. Similar such researches are aimed at developing autonomous agriculture technologies that can introduce driverless tractors, crop irrigators and harvesting machine.

Humanoid robots to make banking fun & interactive

Banks, usually considered as uninteresting and serious places are now ready for some introduction of fun elements. Developers have come up with robots that are aimed at making banking a more interactive and personal experience. To see a cute robot, walk up and communicate politely with you when you enter a bank would certainly add to the “cool” factor. Alderan Robotics and SoftBank has teamed together and designed a humanoid robot, Pepper, which has the ability to read emotions. The artificial intelligence-backed robot was announced in 2014 and has already found place in major stores and banks across Japan and Europe. Asian countries, such as Taiwan have been quick to adopt these bots in their workplaces. Taiwan’s biggest insurer, Cathay Life Insurance, introduced its first mini ‘Pepper’ robot in its branch. The intelligent humanoid machines greet customers as they walk in, read their facial expressions and body language, and interact accordingly. They have made for a more engaging and fun experience, and are expert marketing tools. Pepper robots also provide information on financial products and even guide customers through the bank to intended departments.

“Pepper’s job is to greet customers and introduce products to make the wait for services less boring,” said Rachel Wang, the insurer’s executive vice president. Apart from providing ease of service and serving different functions, such robots are extremely effective in ensuring that customers are impressed by the organization’s marketing skills and stay loyal to the brand.

Intelligent machines to be the future of healthcare

It is extremely vital that the most intelligent machines created by mankind should also serve for human wellbeing. Healthcare is another area where robots can help revolutionize the practices in the industry. Engineers and medical researchers together have been continually developing robots that can cater to the needs of the patient and decrease the recovery time. Nano robots are the new rage among surgeons, where these tiny engineered devices are inserted into the body, and programmed to tackle cell damage and repair tissues within the body. This can potentially alter the way medicine is combined with technology for advanced healing techniques.

Moreover, robots are also being used by surgeons for aiding in complex surgeries and treatments. Along with these, the cold machines are also being made more humane and gentle, to help patients recover in hospitals. Elderlies and physically challenged patients are also reaping the benefits of having a human robot at their disposal, which can provide assistance to perform simple tasks, as well as remind them about medication. The robotic revolution is expected to be of great support to the healthcare industry, as it can realize tasks that are menial, intricate, or even potentially dangerous.

With the robotics revolution taking the world by storm, people across various verticals are warming up to the idea of these cold machines. Millennials are fascinated as well as amazed at the wide gamut of operations a robot is capable of achieving. Emerging nations are investing their resources to bring life to machines and create a task force of robots that can do menial, odd, or boring jobs that would make human beings more employable in other deserving areas. Robots are achieving more complicated levels of functionality and thus proving more effective than a human labor force. With a more futuristic outlook being adopted, the service robotics market can be counted on for meeting the demands of a fast-paced dynamic world.

Source: automation.com – Service Robots Open New Avenues for an Automated Workforce