How Robotics and Advanced Analytics Will Change the Modern Day Work Environment
The future vision of robotics was once well rooted in the physical world. The popular sci-fi that has helped define our understanding of the future was laden with visions of robotic servants that take on forms resembling human and where robotic functions replace the needs for human workers in everywhere from the surgery room to the assembly line in rather literal terms. But as the A.I. revolution approaches, it's becoming more clear that robots and the advanced analytics who empower them are far more varied and far less anthropomorphized than we would have imagined.
That's because the robots that are really changing the world in the biggest way are "software robots", and they rarely need the advantages that come from mimicking a traditional biological form. Built off the idea of robotic process automation, these robots constitute everything from virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri to the new faces of online customer service, to robots that can automate the process of answering invoice queries for gas and oil companies. RPA is simple in theory but complex in action. It essentially uses machine learning and analytics to create automated processes that more accurately resemble the rules-based tasks that would otherwise require human intervention.
And while software robots area already accomplishing a vast variety of tasks, we're just scratching the surface of how they could potentially contribute to the future workforce. Robots are already being used to assist with the customer service experience, but this largely takes the form of automated chatbots that can provide simple answers to the most commonly asked questions. But voice recognition software is becoming increasingly advanced, and these bots could soon replace the need for off-shore customer service agents and even fulfill tasks like transcription and data entry. Then, there are tasks that were once deemed so sensitive or complicated that they required a human touch, that will eventually be replaced by robots that are able to learn human emotions. Automation can soon replace the need for traditional modes of remote IT management, security analytics, and even auditing.What is especially exciting is how well these artificial intelligence’s can scale to the needs of a business. Rather than replacing human knowledge in the work world, AI is able to be used as a supporting tool. When implementing it into a business strategy, A.I. is able to synthesize courses of action and present them to business owners and employees before taking a risk that could potentially be bad for certain types of companies, subsequently figuring out possible consequences for each action and helping to generate a solution.
Robotics represents the future, but it's not the future we once predicted. As systems like RPA continue to develop, we can expect to see A.I. more naturally integrated into the devices we already use, and the result will be a vision of machine learning that complements rather than outright replaces the human element in the workforce.