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AI Agent vs. RPA Bot

RPA is dead. Say hello to AI agents.

At the start of 2024, we make a bold prediction: That a RPA winter looms as RPA enters the trough of disillusionment. While it is still early days, it appears that their successor has already emerged: AI agents.

AI Agents are intelligent pieces of software that can perceive their environment and make rational decisions, collaboration with fellow agents and humans, and importantly, execute actions autonomously in order to achieve their goals. At the risk of over-simplifying, they are a combination of AI and automation — the large language models providing the brain power, while API/UI automation serves as the arms and legs.

According to BCG, such autonomous agents are expected to go mainstream within the next three to five years, while it is possible that reliable systems with limited autonomy might be ready even sooner.

To understand the how AI agents will change the enterprise automation landscape, consider the example of invoice processing:

  • Task automation with RPA: Read structured data, perform 2/3-way matching, and post invoice into ERP

  • Process automation with RPA & OCR/IDP: Retrieve submitted invoice, extract required data, perform 2/3-way matching, and post invoice into ERP

  • Intelligent automation with AI agents: All of the above, including automatic validation of the extracted data, invoice/payment approval based on evolving company policy (i.e. not static rules), handling of rejected invoices, fraud detection, etc.

Are you ready for the incoming wave of AI agents?


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