Artificial intelligence and machine learning roared on the scene in 2014 and 2015. Now, the AI/ML market appears to be “backing off,” says Craig Le Claire, an analyst with Forrester Research. Le Claire points out that intelligent software bots are increasingly taking on the automation challenges of enterprises in a more incremental way.
Software bots associated with robotic process automation (RPA) is percolating its way through processes and channels across enterprises. These bots usually take on single-purpose tasks, such as pulling data for a purchase order or delivering an email confirming a transaction.
Tasks for software robots
Repetitive tasks, such as posting data to a financial application, are easily programmed into the bot. Unlike many machine learning projects that may need data scientists, RPA is simple to deploy and existing IT staff can be upskilled to configure and manage them.
Software robot’s adoption
Software bots are gradually being adopted for tasks across enterprises, operating to a large degree under the radar. These bots are increasingly adding intelligence as the amount of data generated and consumed by them grows.
Software robot’s management
Software bots are, for all intents and purposes, form part of an emerging “digital workforce” that will take on much of the grunt work of today’s office and knowledge workers — and should be treated accordingly.
Where to from here
Experts in software robotics recommend we govern software bots that perform work for humans, in the same fashion as human workers. This involves tracking their hiring date (software creation work), and assigning a boss (responsible for the design, training and securing the bot’s password access.
Each boss will even have a performance review and termination date (when they’re taken out of service). In this way, governance and management of digital and human workers are converging.
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