Gartner tech trends 2020: What is hyperautomation?
In the wake of the release of Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2020, Gigabit Magazine is breaking down the biggest seismic shifts occurring across the business and consumer space.
The next year, Gartner reports, will be defined by the idea of “people-centric smart spaces,” which will have “a profound impact on the people and the spaces they inhabit,” said Brian Burke, Gartner Research VP, at Gartner 2019 IT Symposium/Xpo™ in Orlando, Florida. “Rather than building a technology stack and then exploring the potential applications, organisations must consider the business and human context first.”
The predictions conjure images of auto workers in robotic exoskeletons, lifting hundreds of pounds of steel like an ant holds aloft a beetle more than five times its size. The field of human enhancement is entering an age where human capabilities will not be replaced by augmentations, but where augmentation will “create superhuman capabilities.” These enhancements also come at a time when human process is being replaced by intelligent machine decisioning.
At the top of the list this year is Hyperautomation. Here’s our breakdown of what it is, why it’s different from regular automation, and why it’s going to change the world.
Hyperautomation is the application of advanced technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) to augment workers and automate processes in ways that are significantly more impactful that traditional automation capabilities.
As no single tool can replace humans, hyperautomation involves using multiple tools in symphony, including robotic process automation (RPA), intelligent business management software (iBPMS) and AI, with the goal of increasingly AI-driven decision making. It’s the next step beyond RPA, further replacing human involvement in physical and digital tasks, and eventually the complete decision-making process.
As a side note: although not the main goal, hyperautomation often results in the creation of a digital twin of an organisation (DTO), allowing them to visualize how functions, processes and key performance indicators interact to drive value. The DTO then becomes an integral part of the hyperautomation process, providing real-time, continuous intelligence about the organization and driving significant business opportunities.
Discord buys Sentropy to fight against hate and abuse online
Discord, a popular chat app, has acquired the software company Sentropy to bolster its efforts to combat online abuse and harassment. Sentropy, monitors online networks for abuse and harassment, then offers users a way to block problematic people and filter out messages they don’t want to see.
First launched in 2015 and currently boasting 150 million monthly active users, Discord plans to integrate Sentropy’s own products into its existing toolkit and the company will also bring the smaller company’s leadership group aboard. Discord currently uses a “multilevel” approach to moderation, and a Trust and Safety (T&S) team dedicated to protecting users and shaping content moderation policies comprised 15% of Discord’s workforce as of May 2020.
“T&S tech and processes should not be used as a competitive advantage,” Sentropy CEO John Redgrave said in a blog post on the announcement. “We all deserve digital and physical safety, and moderators deserve better tooling to help them do one of the hardest jobs online more effectively and with fewer harmful impacts.”
Cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse
Redgrave elaborated on the company’s natural connection with Discord: “Discord represents the next generation of social companies — a generation where users are not the product to be sold, but the engine of connectivity, creativity, and growth. In this model, user privacy and user safety are essential product features, not an afterthought. The success of this model depends upon building next-generation Trust and Safety into every product. We don’t take this responsibility lightly and are humbled to work at the scale of Discord and with Discord’s resources to increase the depth of our impact.”
Sentropy launched out of stealth last summer with an AI system designed to detect, track and cleanse platforms of online harassment and abuse. The company emerged then with $13 million in funding from notable backers including Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and his VC firm Initialized Capital, King River Capital, Horizons Ventures and Playground Global.
“We are excited to help Discord decide how we can most effectively share with the rest of the Internet the best practices, technology, and tools that we’ve developed to protect our own communities,” Redgrave said.