Posted by Frank Gagnier on Apr 13, 2019
Rotarian Kris Meyer
 
Robotic Process Automation (or RPA)
 
RPA is a business systems computer approach, where they use software to replicate the actions of a human for repetitive tasks. Basic routine functions that are done over and over many times every day by staff and employees. However, it is not intended to replace humans, but to free them up for more important tasks and decision making, while the RPA does the routine repetitive stuff....compiling many source inputs...mining Data and using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to prepare findings and recommendations.
 
Kris gave a few  examples of RPA:
In HR, a new hire has to fill out a lot of repetitive forms and applications: i.e., Parking Pass, Security Badge, Medical Benefits, Retirement Plan, Computer Access Password, Facial/Thumbprint recognition, Educational Assistance, etc., etc.  All the systems and processes for a new employee to check into a new company or for a departing/retiring employee to check out/leave a company.  With RPA, the employee fills out one data application and all the respective new enrollment steps are automatically completed.
 
Accounts Payable, instead of employees adding up all the pluses & minuses…the daily, weekly, monthly payments, the partial & full payments, the late payments…and preparing a monthly Accounts Payable Report…The RPA prepares the report automatically based upon daily input.  Then humans check the monthly report for accuracy/variances.
 
Medical Reports, a RPA scans a new patients medical history and previous lab work…then based upon the new hospital/clinic/Doctors specialty and recent medical research, prepares a suggested medial approach for the Doctor to review as to the best course of action to take with the new patient.
 
A recent April 3 article on the CEO of IBM presentation was discussed: IBM artificial intelligence can analyze data and produce an RPA report, which will predict, with 95% accuracy, which workers will be quitting their jobs in the future…when & why they will be quitting. Provides management with suggestions on how to engage and retain the employee....interesting!
 
Impact on Society
Academic studies project that RPA, among other technological trends, is expected to drive a new wave of productivity and efficiency gains in the global labor market. Although not directly attributable to RPA alone, Oxford University conjectures that up to 35% of all jobs may have been automated by 2035.
In a TEDx talk hosted by UCL in London, entrepreneur David Moss explains that digital labor in the form of RPA is not only likely to revolutionize the cost model of the services industry by driving the price of products and services down, but that it is likely to drive up service levels, quality of outcomes and create increased opportunity for the personalization of services.
Meanwhile, Professor Willcocks, author of the LSE paper cited above, speaks of increased job satisfaction and intellectual stimulation, characterizing the technology as having the ability to "take the robot out of the human", a reference to the notion that robots will take over the mundane and repetitive portions of people's daily workload, leaving them to be redeployed into more interpersonal roles or to concentrate on the remaining, more meaningful, portions of their day.
 
(Thank you Larry Myers for the feedback on this topic).