What automation through intelligent RPA offers to enterprise
Robotic process automation (RPA) in its modern form seems as if it has only just arrived. The gist of the technology is that, unlike previous forms of automation which ran in the back-end of a system, RPA allows for robots to interact directly with human-targeted graphical user interfaces (GUIs). By watching and recording a human teacher’s inputs, RPA technology can then repeat those inputs, albeit more quickly, reliably and inputting alternative forms of data if necessary.
Already, however, a number of companies are pushing versions of this technology upgraded through the use of machine learning and AI. These solutions go by a number of names such as Intelligent Automation or Intelligent Process Automation. Here, we take a look at three such offerings to see exactly what benefits are on offer.
Oracle offers process automation as part of its integration cloud, which it says is aimed at automating the business transactions that usually require people. Partnering with dedicated RPA firm UiPath, Oracle’s solution aims to create a digital workforce. In a blog post, Oracle’s Hari Sankar said of intelligent process automation: “IPA not only replicates existing processes, it makes them more efficient and effective by eliminating tasks, improving process flows, and squeezing out errors.”
IBM sees the implementation of intelligent automation as heralding a future ‘collaborative workforce’ comprised of humans and machines working together. It advocates for a programme of change management to upskill workers with the ability to collaborate with robots. The company’s suite of intelligent automation services includes its Watson system, and its technologies have already been put to use in banking, shipping and in policing.
‘Intelligent Robotic Process Automation’ from SAP come as part of its SAP Leonardo intelligent enterprise system. It emphasises its capability to mimic human workers inputs as well as interpret their communications. SAP’s offering incorporates machine learning and conversational AI alongside RPA. Its bots also have the capability to build intelligence into existing back office processes.
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.