What is Cognitive Automation, and Why is it important?

What is Cognitive Automation, and Why is it important?

In this blog post, we will examine cognitive automation, its importance for enterprises, and its differences from traditional automation tools.
Aleyna Güner
4 minutes

What is Cognitive Automation and Why is It Important?

Cognitive automation is based on software that brings intelligence to knowledge-intensive processes. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cognitive Computing are often associated with Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Cognitive automation, leveraging AI technologies, expands and improves the range of actions often associated with RPA, saves costs, and provides benefits for customer satisfaction and greater accuracy in complex business processes involving unstructured information.

Let's examine in detail what cognitive automation is.

What is Cognitive Automation?

Cognitive automation is an all-encompassing general term for the use of machine learning technologies in automation to undertake tasks that would otherwise require manual labor to complete. 

Cognitive automation is explained by different researchers as follows; it is the name given to AI that can use advanced technologies like natural language processing, facial recognition, data mining, and some form of cognitive reasoning to mimic human intelligence. In simpler words, cognitive automation uses technology to solve problems with human intelligence.

These processes can be any tasks, transactions, or activities unrelated to the software system and required to deliver any solution with a human touch. 

So, we now understand what Cognitive Automation is. Let's understand the importance of Cognitive Automation in the next section.

Why is Cognitive Automation Important?

Cognitive automation boosts the speed and accuracy of computer-generated responses. Indeed, cognitive processes now account for nearly 20% of service desk interactions. The following factors contribute to cognitive automation being the next significant improvement for enterprise-level operations.

1. Automate Decision Making: A cognitive automation tool can speed up the decision-making operation by bringing together numerous data sets—both internal and external—and automating the analysis. This is especially useful when many factors must be considered. Finally, finding answers quickly is a real deal.

2. Avoid devastating supply chain issues: As supply chain management becomes more complex, businesses may find it difficult to process data minute-by-minute to keep up with the 24/7 pace. Cognitive automation enables enterprises to avoid issues such as decision fatigue and labor shortages, allowing them to continue serving customers without interruption or costly errors.

3. Remove the uncertainty from inventory management: The ability to balance inventory is outpaced by changing markets and global challenges. Sadly, existing business strategies do not address the issue, and days of inventory continue to rise across the industry, despite technological advances. Cognitive automation digitizes and automates processes before delivering them through skills that can be applied to a wide range of systems.

4. Optimize the future of payments: The need for seamless payment networks and the ability to pivot and adapt in real-time is growing as the pace of business accelerates. Businesses can optimize their payment system processes by implementing cognitive automation to make them more intuitive, streamlined, and focused.

5. Increase the efficiency and accuracy of revenue cycles: Improving revenue cycle performance is critical for overall cost reduction in the business. Cognitive automation assists businesses in improving the quality of their customers' experiences while increasing data accuracy and net revenue.

6. Avoid loss of revenue: With companies of all sizes facing financial challenges, cognitive solutions work to eliminate the three leading causes of revenue loss—fraud, errors, and work-related accidents and illnesses—and have the potential to save over 10 trillion dollars globally.

7. Save millions of lives: Cognitive automation solutions have the potential to save lives in addition to revolutionizing businesses, saving money, and streamlining processes. Whether used in transportation to augment the abilities of human drivers, prevent deaths and injuries in traffic accidents, or in specific medical applications such as diagnostics and research, cognitive automation technology can save millions of lives and increase healthy life expectancy.

A digital worker using cognitive automation can use its AI capabilities to deal with unstructured data. Using a digital workforce to handle routine tasks reduces the possibility of human error and can help to streamline workflow. Cognitive automation opens up a world of possibilities for improving your work and life.

Cognitive Automation vs. Traditional Automation Tools

With substantial leaps in Machine Learning and AI technologies every few months, it's pretty challenging to keep up with tongue-twisting terminologies on the other side of understanding the depth of technologies. Even sadder, while not the most practical answer for some businesses, the mistake is often made that these technologies are embedded in larger software packages. 

Let's examine how cognitive automation closes the gaps where traditional approaches, particularly robotic process automation (RPA) and integration tools, fall short.

Traditional RPA is essentially limited to automated processes that need fast, repetitive actions (which may or may not include structured data) without dealing with too much contextual analysis or contingencies. On the other hand, the automation of business processes provided by them is primarily determined by completing tasks within a strict set of rules. For this reason, some people refer to RPA as "click bots," although most applications today go far beyond that.

Automated processes can work effectively only as long as they follow the "if/then" mentality without the need for any human decisions between decisions. However, this rigidity causes RPAs to fail to make sense of and transmit unstructured data.

Cognitive automation represents a significant advancement over traditional RPA technologies, which simply copy and repeat the activity performed by a person step by step.

Types of Cognitive Automation

As we covered above, cognitive automation is particularly powered by the use of machine learning and its subfield, deep learning. Without getting too technical, we believe that understanding what can be accomplished through such applications requires a basic understanding of fundamental concepts.

While we are still a long way from what scientists call general artificial intelligence, machines are already very good at a few tasks. In fact, machines can mimic our own abilities, often outperforming humans in terms of speed and precision if properly trained:

Let's not go further into the technical aspects of machine learning here, but if you're new to the subject and want to dive into the subject, take a look at our beginner's guide to machine learning

What's Next?

The majority of businesses are only scratching the surface of cognitive automation and have yet to realize its full potential. A cognitive automation solution may be all that is required to revitalize resources and improve operational performance.

Because the underlying technology is still relatively new, cognitive automation may not yet have a large footprint. However, it is clearly gaining traction as it continues to produce promising results, and for what it's worth, it fills in the final missing piece of the puzzle: human-like and even superhuman intelligence.

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