On January 19th, 2019, Facebook M, the text-based virtual Assistant, ended the service after two and a half years. When it launched, Facebook described M as a “beta” and stated the human-powered Assistant would come to more users over time. But it never did. Upon shutting down the human-powered M, Facebook described it as an “experiment.”
What went wrong?
The free service was offered to 10,000 people in the San Francisco area, who used it to do things like book restaurant reservations, change flights, send gifts, and wait on hold with customer service. Facebook’s goal with M was to develop artificial intelligence technology that could automate almost all of M’s tasks.
But Facebook M fell short: One source familiar with the program estimates M never surpassed 30 percent automation. Hence most of the tasks fulfilled by M required people, making it unviable for Facebook.
Here’s another brief story of Google’s ill-fated ‘Allo’:
In 2016 Google released ‘Allo’ – a successor to Google’s Hangouts ( a hot and often criticized messaging app).
It was packed with plenty of exciting AI-powered features. It was loaded with Google’s new Assistant, giving you conversational access to outside information like dinner reservations or sports scores.
Allo was catapulted to the #1 position on the Google Play charts for Top Free Apps almost immediately after launching, accumulating over 5 million downloads in a week.
But two weeks later, on October 4th, 2016, Allo had fallen in the charts almost entirely off the top 100 list. Three months later, on January 31st, it wasn’t even in the top 500 anymore. What happened?
At its core, Allo was a messaging application that was timeworn and causelessly tied to a phone number, rather than an account, with limited platform support.
As Allo’s fate hung in limbo, it was revealed that development for Allo was temporarily suspended.
An integrated approach needs to be taken towards automation. A significant accomplishment of a company’s vision is based on the implemented automation being able to offer long term answers.
This article is produced to focus on how integrated automation can enable businesses to improve performance and the benefits beyond labor substitution.
What is Integrated automation?
“Don’t miss the forest for the trees”.
Integrated automation is not about RPA or AI or analytics. It is RPA and AI and analytics. Adopt an integrated approach- only then can one truly justify the outcomes of instilling intelligent automation.
A smart business automation strategy that integrates Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies like machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. The combination of these technologies allows digital workers to make complex decisions, execute complex processes, and communicate across networks.
Let’s take the case of financial services. In a bank, RPA can be used in the back-office to automate high-volume, repetitive tasks leading to a process cost reduction.
Alongside, machine learning and advanced analytics can help identify fraud in real-time.
Further, chatbots and digital workers can enhance account and customer service.
In another instance, in advertising, RPA is used in conjunction with other technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, chatbots, and content moderation to identify and promote your brand.
As a brand, your RPA implementation can assist you in building relationships with consumers. For example, you might provide consumers with coupons or offers to encourage them to click your ad and buy your product.
Automated integration points to the notion that the entire process is executed without any mediation from humans.
How does integrated automation help?
Well-designed integrated automated processes are programmed to follow the rules and seldom make errors. Because there are no humans involved in executing the process, there’s no risk of human error. And that makes for improved quality, consistency, and reliability.
The difference between marginal and exponential ROI is implementing automation in silos versus scaling automation across an organization. While you may start with one technology as a pilot and it may work great, bear in mind that there are other technologies on the tool belt. Focus on the process and consider all technologies. Many- times, a mix and match approach may be the right solution to generate the ROI.
Improve employee retention:-
Employees relieved from automated processes can be refocused on more fulfilling and higher-value activities. When organizations use these employees towards driving better insights, they achieve higher value for their business. It’s a win-win for organizations and employees.
Starting with Intelligent Automation
Choose a platform that offers a digital workplace with scalable, reliable and resilient digital workers, supporting enterprise robotic process automation as well as supplement business process automation through machine learning, AI, sentiment analysis and natural language processing technologies. Consider Blue Prism, a highly scalable digital workforce that can be deployed in on-premise and cloud environments. The platform’s enterprise-grade architecture enables scaling, operational agility, strong governance and most importantly it is business-led and IT governed empowering the operations team to deliver business outcomes.
Do not think of automation in binary terms; think of it as something that happens across a spectrum. Think of an integrated automation approach.
Do not operate in a technology bubble. Several technological advancements have failed throughout history, not only due to a lack of technical issues- but also due to a lack of business need and relevance at that time.
Don’t build in isolation. Technology is never self-sustaining.
At a time of sluggish GDP growth and weak productivity gains—when demographic trends are starting to work against growth in a broad range of countries—automation could serve as an unexpected boon to the world economy.
While automation at a global level can be a significant economic growth engine by helping reduce the growth gap created by a shrinking workforce, its effects will play out differently depending on the adoption scenarios for automation.