RPA in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

. 6 mins read

RPA in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has already revolutionized the way businesses automate repetitive rule-based mundane tasks by freeing up employee’s time to work on more value-added work. However, as RPA technology continues to advance, its integration with Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly vital. This is evident from the fact that most RPA tools are integrating more AI capabilities to their tools. Combining these technologies can transform the workplace and shape the future of work.

In this post, we will explore how these technologies work together to create intelligent automation solutions. We will also discuss the potential benefits and challenges of adopting these technologies and their impact on the workforce and society.

RPA and AI: How are they different?

Before we go any further, let us understand the difference between RPA and AI.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a software application that can mimic human actions on an application there by automating repetitive and rule-based tasks and processes. Some major RPA tools are UiPath, Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere etc.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the other hand is a technology that can simulate human intelligence in machines, enabling them to perform cognitive functions such as learning, reasoning, understanding and decision-making.

Though different, these technologies are complimentary and can create Intelligent Automation (IA) solutions which combine automation and intelligence to achieve end-to-end automation of complex business processes.

Combining RPA and AI - Intelligent Process Automation (IPA)

The future of work lies in combining RPA and AI. By combining these technologies, businesses can create intelligent automation solutions that can learn, adapt, and improve over time. With integration of AI, RPA solutions become even more intelligent and capable of handling complex tasks and making decisions.

In the software automation industry, the combination of RPA and AI is called Intelligent Process Automation (IPA). It is the application of artificial intelligence and related technologies to Robotic Process Automation, which creates automation capabilities that enhance business value and competitive advantages.

UiPath is a company that creates IPA solutions by using AI to amplify the power of their RPA technology, with advanced computer vision, unattended robotics, and integration with third-party cognitive services. Like UiPath, many other RPA tools offer cognitive capabilities in their tools.

Let us consider an example where RPA and AI work together to enhance customer experience. Suppose a customer service representative receives a request from a customer. RPA can be used to automatically route the request to the appropriate department and update the customer’s information. With the addition of AI, the system can learn from the request and provide personalized recommendations for the customer based on their history and preferences. This kind of personalized service not only enhances the customer experience but also saves time for the representative.

Few more examples of IPA solutions are:

  • Invoice processing: RPA bots can automatically extract data from invoices and input it into a system, reducing the need for manual data entry. AI can be used to improve the accuracy of the data extraction, even if the invoices are in different formats.

  • Fraud detection: RPA bots can be used to monitor transactions for suspicious activity. AI can be used to analyze patterns and identify potential fraud, even if it is a new type of fraud that the system has not seen before.

  • Healthcare: RPA can be used to automate administrative tasks, such as patient registration and appointment scheduling. AI can be used to analyze medical records and identify potential health risks or suggest treatment options.

  • Supply chain management: RPA can be used to automate inventory tracking and order processing. AI can be used to analyze data to optimize supply chain operations, such as predicting demand and identifying potential disruptions.

The Future of Work with IPA

As more businesses adopt RPA, they can automate more tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more high-level work. Through the integration of AI, these solutions become even more powerful, enabling them to handle complex tasks and decision-making. This will increase efficiency, productivity, accuracy, and customer experience.

However, it is essential to acknowledge that adopting IPA will also lead to workforce changes. While these technologies automate routine and repetitive tasks, human intervention is still necessary for decision-making and strategic planning. Therefore, employees must adapt to these changes and develop new skills to remain relevant in the job market.

Benefits of Adopting IPA

Adopting IPA has numerous benefits for businesses. These benefits include:

  • Increased efficiency: IPA can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up employees to focus on more critical tasks. This, in turn, leads to increased productivity and efficiency.

  • Improved accuracy: IPAs are less prone to errors than human workers, leading to increased accuracy and fewer mistakes.

  • Cost savings: Automating repetitive tasks reduces the need for manual labour, leading to cost savings for businesses.

  • Better customer experience: IPA can provide personalized recommendations to customers, enhancing their experience and building brand loyalty.

  • Increased agility: IPA can help businesses respond quickly to changing market conditions by automating processes.

  • Scalability: IPA can easily scale to handle larger volumes of work, making them ideal for businesses that are looking to grow and expand.

Challenges of Adopting IPA

While adopting IPA has numerous benefits, it also comes with several challenges. These challenges include:

  • High implementation costs: Implementing IPA solutions can be expensive, especially for small businesses with limited resources. The costs associated with implementation, licensing, and training can be significant barriers for many businesses.

  • Lack of skilled workforce: The implementation of IPA requires a workforce with specialized skills, including programming, data analysis, and process design. Many organizations may lack the necessary skills to fully implement and leverage these technologies.

  • Resistance to change: The adoption of IPA can be a momentous change for organizations, and some employees may be resistant to the implementation of modern technologies. Proper training and communication can help mitigate this resistance, but it is important to acknowledge that there may be challenges in getting employees to embrace these new tools.

  • Data quality and governance: IPA relies heavily on accurate and well-organized data to function effectively. Without proper data quality and governance, these technologies can result in errors and inaccuracies, causing more harm than good.

  • Security and privacy concerns: As with any modern technology, security and privacy concerns are a significant challenge when implementing IPA. These technologies require access to sensitive data, and businesses must respond appropriately to ensure that this data is secure and protected.


RPA and AI are powerful technologies that are reshaping the future of work. Combining these technologies can lead to increased efficiency, productivity, and accuracy, as well as improved customer experiences. However, the adoption of RPA and AI comes with its own set of challenges, including high implementation costs, the need for a skilled workforce, resistance to change, data quality and governance concerns, and security and privacy issues. Despite these challenges, the benefits of RPA and AI adoption outweigh the costs, and businesses that are willing to invest in these technologies can position themselves for success in the future of work.