By Todd Michaud, HuLoop CEO
Historically, workers have viewed automation initiatives with suspicion — essentially, fearing that robots will take over their jobs. This “friend vs foe” viewpoint is easy to understand: workers worry that automation will kill their jobs. Today’s companies, however, aren’t in a good position to shed jobs. With unemployment at an all-time low, organizations are struggling to hire, train and retain employees — not to mention the additional costs that come with employee turnover.
When organizations are looking to tighten their workforce costs through hiring freezes or job cuts, the motivation to automate can be very high. However, worker fear and resistance to change have made it challenging for the first generation of automation solutions to scale across the enterprise — resulting in a high failure rate, or at best underwhelming results, particularly for RPA-centric solutions.
With the right platform and adoption strategy, AI-based intelligent automation brings speed, accuracy, and dependable execution to processes and tasks. It replaces boring, mundane, repetitive job functions while dramatically improving productivity and quality. But there’s a lot that artificial intelligence can’t do or can’t do well. AI, for example, is not intuitive or culturally sensitive. It can’t replace strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, or empathy — and it certainly isn’t creative or imaginative.
As its name represents, HuLoop is built to incorporate “humans-in-the-loop” and at the core of a company’s automation initiatives. Automation centers around “planned” execution, “known” behaviors and following rules. HuLoop understands that humans can uniquely understand a given situation — and respond accordingly — in ways that automation systems can’t.
The Need for Human-in-the-Loop
There are many examples of when human workers serve a critical role in a business environment. One example is stressful customer-facing situations that could benefit from a human touch. Similarly, there are often sensitive employee/HR situations that could benefit from human-led interactions.
To meet the need for an intersection of automation and human governance, the HuLoop unified automation platform offers companies the opportunity to inject human sensitivities and brainpower into the epicenter of automations. This approach not only builds employee/user trust, which helps to ensure better system adoption, but also better business outcomes overall.
While each automation use case will be different systemically, the HuLoop platform provides humans with a process/task level understanding of what’s happening, knowledge of why it is happening, and option for the human to get more involved if needed. Essentially, HuLoop provides the user with ongoing governance and transparency.
The HuLoop platform enables human workers to ask and answer questions such as:
- Did the various automations execute properly?
- If exceptions or deviations occurred, did the platform provide optionality on how to best address the exception? (HuLoop offers automatic change/exception detection and auto-healing/solving.)
- Can I interact with the process/task and make a timely, actionable judgment call?
- Can user interactions with the platform and automation be so easy and intuitive (app-like) that anyone can do it without a dependency on technical experts or excessive training? (HuLoop’s simple-beautiful UX and plain simple English initiatives, as well as the HuGO NLP/NLU Digital Assistant, are central to its strategy.
- Can we apply diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive insights to support the Human-in-the-Loop activities?
Another aspect of human-in-the-loop automation is Augmented Intelligence, which is a partnership between humans and AI. When designing an AI solution, it is best to create one to work well with humans, and get the best from both humans and machines.
Think Garry Kasparov, the famous Russian Chess player, when he lost to IBM’s Deep Blue in 1996: he said that the best chess player would be teams of humans and AI. HuLoop wants to leverage AI to allow ordinary, non-technical people to augment their work. Just as spreadsheets did not replace accountants, AI-led automations will free people to do more exciting and valuable work.
My favorite, simple analogy is that you may be the owner of a car with self-driving capabilities. You may trust the car to operate on its own in non-rush hour, straight highway situations. If you are driving in the mountains and on curvy roads, your choice may be to keep your hands on the steering wheel vs running in self-driving mode. That is essentially an example of a human-in-the-loop decision.
By supporting human-centered businesses with automation technology that incorporates and honors the value that humans bring to their work, HuLoop is not a job killer — it’s a job transformer. We don’t bring an “automate everything, everywhere” attitude. HuLoop harmonizes human and AI interactions better than any of the competition. Human + AI = Better Outcomes.
About HuLoop Automation
Based in the Sacramento, California area, HuLoop Automation serves enterprises who are digitally transforming their businesses to maximize human productivity and improve customer experience, all while leveraging existing technology investments. HuLoop has built a unified automation platform to help enterprises automate manual, mundane tasks, so their human talent is able to spend time on higher value work. Our AI-based, codeless, Human-in-the-Loop software eliminates mind-numbing work, saving our clients money and improving employee satisfaction. You can learn more at www.huloop.ai and follow HuLoop on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.