I’m in the process of researching the topic of ‘Intelligent Automation’ for Warwick Business School’s Innovation Network, with a view to organising a member’s workshop for sometime in the second quarter of 2019. As with most emergent technologies, the real challenge is getting beyond the marketing hype and snake-oil salesmen and finding real evidence of innovation and value creation. This is no easy task, not least navigating through a new and rapidly changing lexicon, that embraces (but is not limited to) Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), Supervised/Unsupervised/Semi-Supervised/Reinforcement Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – to name but a few. And all of this before wading into the interminable debate about what we mean by “Intelligent”.
I’m at the beginning of my research journey, with much reading, conference attending and digesting of webinars and podcasts yet to do, but it’s clear to me already that there is a blurry line between “AI” and “automation” with some solution providers eager to jump on the AI bandwagon for products that appear to have some intelligence, but in fact are just using rule-based algorithms.
This is fine if they are meeting a valid business need, but I really would like to discover whether there are solutions out there that are truly integrating some aspect of cognitive processing (call it AI for now) with automation, and, perhaps more importantly, actually delivering business value. But I’m looking beyond ROI, which in more cases than not is based on made-up numbers.
So, much more research do, but I was enlightened by this article from Stacey McIntosh (@staceythemac), which puts much of the hype and jargon into context, with some useful examples of how AI-automation is being used. Well worth a read.
I’ll post again on this topic once I’ve had more time to dig into it. If anyone has recommended sources or articles, please get in touch. Better still if you can demonstrate some evidence of ‘Intelligent Automation’!