In the Forbes Insight article Intelligent Automation: How AI and Automation are Changing the Way Work Gets Done, KPMG predicts that overall investment in intelligent automation is expected to reach USD 232 billion by 2025, comparing that to an estimated USD 12.4 billion today.
I'm not surprised by that prediction as automation that doesn’t embed intelligence will be missing the automation opportunity. And the opportunity is three-fold:
- Free up employees from low value tasks
- Assist employees with high value work
- Drive growth and new business models
But how do you actually do that – embed intelligence in automation? In February at Think 2019, we announced the in-development of IBM Business Automation Intelligence with Watson™ to help bridge the gap between business automation and AI and enable a new class of intelligent automation. At a high level, this solution is an automation capability for creating, managing and governing AI across the enterprise and applying it to business operations using IBM Watson™. It’s currently being built with the help of sponsored clients and will be available later this year.
Why do we think Business Automation Intelligence with Watson will be one of the best places to start with AI? It nets down to the four following reasons:
1. It’ll address the top barriers to AI adoption:
- Business people don’t always know how and where AI can be best applied to their problems.
- AI algorithms are often disconnected from daily business operations.
- AI is difficult for business people to trust, control and monitor.
2. It’s being built around six foundational “moments of intelligence” that occur across all types of work – from clerical to knowledge work. By automating these, you can have a significant impact on customer experience and employee productivity:
- Extracting information
- Entering data
- Gathering critical information
- Making decisions
- Prioritizing work
- Anticipating action
You can think of these “moments of intelligence” as those basic, readily identifiable elements of work, related to tasks or skills, that can benefit the most from intelligent automation. Automating these moments of intelligence can free employees from low value work by offloading repetitive tasks (for example, extracting information and entering data) or assisting employees with high value work by augmenting expert work (like making decisions and anticipating action).
With IBM Business Automation Intelligence with Watson, you’ll be able to build automation agents to intelligently automate these fundamental tasks and skills with built-in business controls so you can trust the agents with this critical work.
3. It’s being designed to help you identify tasks where people spend most of their time. Because successful automation requires prioritizing what needs to be automated, this solution will help you do this by visualizing “hotspots” where automation can be applied.
4. Finally, it’ll access and act on the operational data generated by the IBM Automation Platform for Digital Business. If you’re a platform user, you’ll be able to apply AI across that operational data using this solution and potentially automate more than you could before.
When can you start using Business Automation Intelligence with Watson? As mentioned earlier, this solution will be available later this year, but you can sign up for the early access program now. Your feedback will help make it the best it can be out of the gate.