“The entire effort of artificial intelligence is essentially a fight against computers’ rigidity,” says Douglas Hofstadter.
“Hi, Alexa!” you say on a busy morning. And in the next few minutes, you are thanking the voice behind that device, which has performed some significant tasks for you.
You have an arm injury, but want to travel in the comfort of your vehicle. Your fully-automated car drops you to your workplace with zero efforts on your part.

Welcome to the magical world of AI! In this hastily transforming world of constant hustle-bustle, imperfection and time-lapse is frowned upon, and constant movement encouraged. While perfection is a utopian concept for humans, and cannot be expected of mere mortals, this and more is certainly being achieved by our very own Frankenstein’s monsters – Artificial Intelligence. Over the past few years, AI has taken unbelievable precedence over various walks of our lives; from education and industries to household and hospitality. While OK Google, Siri and Alexa compete to provide you best-quality services (and some ROFL moments too!), hotel industries are now making use of robots to take orders and deliver food.
But does the advent of AI threaten human intellect and agility in any way? Is the world becoming dangerously dependent on an external force? And have we worked so hard to build these artificial devices just so that we stop working?
We are back with a blog, to discuss the basic points of difference between our AI Frankenstein monsters and us:

1. “To err is human…” – in the truest sense
And that’s because AI cannot err. Of course, unless the human creating it may have committed an error. Artificial Intelligence is capable of performing even the most complex of tasks and algorithms with perfect ease and efficiency. Your AI does not recognize Monday Blues or Sunday offs. Or snoozing off at the traffic signal while driving.

2. “To be or not to be…” Ask AI!
Not only that, AI is also being used to predict future instances using the information available in the present. This feature of AI is being widely used in different domains; including data analytics, lead ranking and face recognition. These predictions often allow humans to take important decisions that can ensure a better future for the industry. Such predictions, if left to humans, may require them to invest a high amount of time and effort. But sometimes, it is also important to take those “emotional decisions” and make abstract considerations, which is clearly not AI’s forte.

3. Sorry. The creative juices don’t flow here.
OK Google might probably recite you a poignant poetry or two every once in a while, but that’s about it. It’s “inhuman” to expect human emotions and feelings out of AI. And that’s the reason one cannot instruct AI to come up with creative marketing strategies or out-of-the-box ideas.

4. All outcomes are created equal.
AI provides exactly the same treatment to every outcome of an activity, regardless of the number of times it has been instructed to carry it out. With humans, consistency (or the lack of it) can prove to be a major challenge, since not only two humans performing the same task, but even the same human carrying it out at different times, can produce remarkably different results.

5. Slow down, dear human….
The human-mind is an ocean, consisting of a huge reservoir of thoughts, emotions, feelings, sentiments…and all sorts of quirkiness, too. We are forever on our toes, trying to take leaps from one point to the other; and in the process, getting done a hoard of tasks all at once. But that’s not how AI works. Your AI tool cannot handle all your multitasking. The con – you have to be patient with it. The pro – the quality of work is never compromised for quantity.

6. Old is gold for AI
While you may be adventurous, outgoing and open to new experiences, AI is not easily adaptable to new changes, and takes quite some time to get accustomed to them.

7. Man is a social animal, but AI is not.
Humans have been surviving and thriving in a highly interactive, collaborative and communicative civilization. Unfortunately, AI is very new to this world, as still finds it a struggle to adapt to new and challenging social scenarios. For AI, the programmed information serves as the ultimate truth, and thinking beyond these boundaries of human programming is not its cup of tea.

At the end of the day, more than comparing human-intelligence with AI, it is important to realize that while AI consists simply of high IQ, human intelligence is a smart blend of IQ as well as EQ. So your AI can do wonders when it comes to rule-based tasks that do not require abstract thinking, but cannot handle tears and heartbeats. Hey, that’s probably why AI is also being used to do some risky tasks that humans cannot perform due to emotional and mental vulnerability. Food for thought!

Six Myths Surrounding RPA

“Myths are a waste of time; they prevent progression,” says Barbara Streisand.
It is certainly no myth that Robotic Process Automation is the next big buzzword that’s doing the rounds in industrial, organizational and software circles. Dealing ostensibly with the designing and application of software robots and artificial intelligence workers, RPA is speculated to do away with the requirement of human resources for the completion of repetitive, monotonous tasks. Then will it affect the availability of jobs, leading to unemployment? Will RPA be too expensive for human race to handle? And is it really a long-term thing, or just another transient fad? Hang on with those questions, as we are back with a blog, to bust some of the biggest myths of RPA:

1) Is my job at risk?
If humans were meant to only engage in uninteresting, repetitive and monotonous tasks that do not challenge one’s intellectual faculties in any way, then RPA might probably pose a risk to your job. But again, were that the case, RPA would never have been designed at all.
Yes, robots might probably lead to dearth of stagnant jobs in the corporate and other sectors. But let’s face it, humans are much more than just a pair of hands doing unstimulating jobs. With RPA, your mundane, boring tasks will be taken care of on a daily basis, while you invest your mind and heart in more challenging sectors, such as production, communications, creativity etc. Lastly, let’s not forget that even robots are made by humans; and as a result, they will continue to require human intervention in order to be manufactured, and assigned to various day-to-day tasks.

2) Will RPA cause a hole in our pockets?
Let’s consider, for a moment, some examples of projects at various stages of inception and development – building industrial complexes, setting up start-up companies, building and establishing brands…all important projects cost significant amounts of money. But this obviously does not (and should not) deter humans from developing these ideas. The same is the case with RPA. Having said that, while RPA’s initial inception costs may be somewhat high, it can be extremely cost-effective once it is applied to day-to-day situations. If we were to compare RPA with other traditional practices like business process outsourcing or offshore manual processing, RPA would win hands down in terms of maximum cost reduction.

3) So if the application of RPA is not an expensive process, are we adopting this technology only to reduce costs?
A myth quite converse to myth number 2 opines that RPA is used only to ensure cost reduction. To resolve this myth, let’s consider the difference between robots and humans. No two humans can be exactly the same (not even identical twins!); and thus, not only two humans performing the same task, but also the same human performing the task at different times, tend to produce different outcomes. In contrast, robots are an asset to organizations in that they are consistent in producing the same outcomes every single time. So yes, quality and speed with regard to the task at hand are also other major advantages of RPA, besides cost reduction.

4) Wow! So robots are nothing less than utopian, are they?
Okay, wait. Ever been exasperated by ‘404, Error not found’? Which means software can commit errors, too. Robots are no different. Yes, if programmed to perfection, robots can be perfect. And this reiterates the fact that robots are what they are designed to be. So if a human commits errors while developing these robots, they are bound to have imperfections.

5) But…really, RPA in all domains?
Well, the answer is…yes. No matter how creative or abstract a job may be, every job, at some stage or the other, consists of some amount of concrete, monotonous tasks. And as long as there are repetitive tasks, there will, and should, be robots.

6) So RPA, my friends, is the be-all end-all of everything! Err…is it?
This myth, if not busted, shall remain as the biggest and falsest myth of all. While RPA can do your day-to-day boring tasks, its purpose is NOT to replace human labour, but only to make it more efficient. Your robots do certain not-so-challenging tasks for you, so that you can invest your time and efforts into doing other greater things. Like…may be; design another robot?

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