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The Age of Cognitive Computing and Rise of Business Process Automation. Where Self-learning Systems will lead to More Intuitive Software and More Analytical Human-Centric Processes.

When you consider how computers and automation systems have changed our personal and working lives in just the last decade, the impacts have been both subtle and profound. That’s because computers and software have become increasingly invisible while also becoming more seamlessly enmeshed in the decisions and actions we make on a daily basis. That trend doesn’t just reflect the ongoing pace of innovation in our society—but a signifier of how our technology is adapting to go beyond handling routine tasks to helping us better manage an often imperfect and imprecise world we live in.

Anti-lock braking systems, traction control, air bags and collision avoidance systems are fully automated, standard features on most cars—features and systems that are invisible and go mostly unnoticed, even though they have a huge impact on our daily lives. On a larger scale, smart cities are optimizing performance by automating traffic flow, energy use, pollution, and transit systems. Autonomous driverless cars have crossed the country and navigated the streets of those cities in trial programs. In each case, the systems and software behind these innovations do more than digitize and automate; they learn and adapt to changing conditions.

Enter the Age of Cognitive Computing

The first era of computing was focused on the use of mechanical systems to tabulate results. That gave way in the 1960s to programmable computers that had the ability to operate under a prescribed set of rules. Today, rather than programming computers to follow the rules, innovators are creating self-learning systems that leverage data mining, pattern recognition, and natural language processing to make decisions and learn to adapt to changing conditions. This approach, which is more akin to human cognition, is referred to as Cognitive Computing. And we’ve just begun to scratch the surface of what could be possible in the Cognitive Age of Computing.

Combine Cognitive Computing and Process Automation and you get a whole new field of study and opportunity: Cognitive Process Automation or Robotic Process Automation.

In a recent interview with the Robot Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence Summit, Dominik Jaskulski of the Lufthansa Group, explained how Robotic Process Automation represented the future of work at Lufthansa. More than 90% of a plane’s flight is managed by a computer. Lufthansa has the same vision for its business processes.

“Robotic Process Automation is an interesting approach of automating processes where software is mimicking a human’s work. I think it may be one of the leading methods of automating processes in the next five years. Technology will be one of the key factors here, but we can’t forget the role of approaches like lean or business process management. What a waste it would be to automate activities that are not needed at all?”

Cognitive Computing and Smart Process Technology

At SUNix Solutions, we have embraced this approach in our development of BridgeSmartTM, our platform for intelligently transforming content from scanned paper and digital documents into structured data that can inform and drive automated processes. Historically, the challenge with extracting information from unstructured documents was the inflexibility of systems that required too much time and effort to set up and configure--and could only provide results within relatively narrow parameters.

Taking an approach that allows software and technology to assist human knowledge workers, and to learn and adapt to different document formats and different conditions, will ultimately lead us to a world where using a keyboard to enter data into a computer from a paper or electronic document will seem like an inhumane task, unworthy of a person’s time and energy.

The goal is NOT to eliminate humans from the process, but to ELEVATE their roles beyond routine tasks to more rewarding challenges and opportunities

To learn more about how BridgeSmartTM can help your organization to intelligently automate business process in a way that adapts to exceptions and changing business conditions, contact SUNix Solutions and request a demonstration of the BridgeSmartTM Platform.