There are many bombastic definitions and descriptions for RPA (robotics) and cognitive automation. Often, marketers even refer to RPA and cognitive automation, simply interchangeably with the A.I. (artificial intelligence) umbrella. Perhaps, the easiest way to understand these 2 types of automation, is by looking at its resemblance with human.
- RPA (robotics) is to mimic human actions
- Cognitive automation is to mimic human thinking
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
Look at the robotic arms in assembly lines, such as automotive industry. A robot doesn’t have to “think”, but to repeatedly perform the programmed mechanical tasks. It repeats what have been programmed into it.
Similarly, in the software context, RPA is about mimicking human actions in an automated process.
- Automatically extract information (using OCR) from a payroll account statement submitted as part of loan facility application, then, calculate 3-month average income, and compare that with the applicant’s declared earnings.
- Automatically repeat a sequence of clicks in a standalone software to generate cost analysis over a material costing optimization proposal.