Robotization: nothing to be afraid of

In the movie The Terminator artificial intelligence takes over everything that is mechanical in order to wipe out humanity. Science fiction of course; robots are not able to take over the world. Nevertheless, there are many people who are unsure about the advent of robotization and Artificial Intelligence because of what the consequences may be for employment?

Even though we are not always aware of it, Artificial Intelligence is already all around us. Take for instance the temperature controller that switches your central heating on and off and the adaptive cruise control that helps you to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. However, AI is not yet capable of replacing humans.

Robotization and AI are currently mainly used together when it involves the manual processing of large quantities of data. For example, where people open systems, search, edit and re-enter data, robots will be doing this. This is called Robotics Process Automation.

Robotization: accompanied by fear

Many people are worried about the fact that more and more money is involved in RPA . It is not strange to question or fear new developments. It is even a common thread throughout history.

Take the ‘Spinning Jenny’ that quite literally spun this thread in the eighteenth century. The advent of this machine automated the spinning of wool. The process became much quicker and cheaper. Fewer hands were needed, but the number of hands did not go down to zero. For instance, because it was still necessary to perform quality control. It also created a demand for people who could build machines.

“On balance 58 million jobs will be created worldwide over the next three years.”

History shows that where jobs disappear, new jobs emerge. The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts that RPA will also cause such a shift. Jobs that require a lot of manual work will make way for app builders, algorithm developers and robot designers. According to the WEF, on balance 58 million jobs will be created worldwide over the next three years.

1, 2, Synergy!

Robots will not replace humans, but they do surpass our capabilities in specific cases. They do routine jobs with amazing speed and accuracy. Such as cut and paste actions as mentioned above, but also extracting customer data from a CRM system or scheduling an appointment with several parties.

People often find this type of repetitive, rule-based work boring. If a robot can take this work off their hands, it will increase job satisfaction. This means that RPA does not need to be a threat, but it may provide excellent opportunities for a fruitful cooperation between humans and robots. In that case, technology is a tool that enables people to work better and more efficiently. Man and machine do not exclude but complement each other. Fewer errors (accuracy may go up to 100 percent) and reduced costs; up to 20 percent less FTE capacity is required. People will have time available for personal development. They will have time to do tasks that will add value.

High time therefore to stop worrying and focus on the benefits.

The benefits of RPA

There are numerous advantages of RPA. A summary of the main benefits:

  • time saving (a robot works faster and continues to work outside office hours)
  • fewer errors
  • cost savings

Why do many companies still hold on to their traditional way of working? The reason is often that they are not convinced about whether RPA is a suitable solution for them. They often wonder whether they have processes that can be performed by a robot. Moreover, it is sometimes difficult to specify the benefits of RPA in terms of efficiency and savings.

“If you would like to know more about the Return of Investment from RPA, download our infographic ‘The ROI from RPA’.”

If you have any questions or if you would like to know more about the impact that RPA and AI could have in your organization, please contact one of our experts. Call us on +31 (0) 850 606 0026 or send an e-mail to