Cognitive Automation: Definition, How It Works, Example & Benefits

Cognitive Automation: Definition, How It Works, Example & Benefits

(Last Updated On: November 6, 2023)

What is Cognition Automation?

Cognitive automation is the strategic integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and process automation, aimed at enhancing business outcomes. It encompasses a spectrum of techniques like Natural Language Processing (NLP), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cognitive Computing, Computer Vision and Predictive Analytics—that empower automation to efficiently capture and utilize data.

Through this data analysis, cognitive automation facilitates more informed and intelligent decision-making, leading to improved strategic choices and outcomes. It streamlines operations, reduces manual effort, and accelerates task completion, thus boosting overall efficiency.

Example of Cognitive Automation

An example of cognitive automation is in the field of customer support, where a company uses AI-powered chatbots to provide assistance to customers.

Consider you’re a customer looking for assistance with a product issue on a company’s website. You start a chat conversation, and instead of waiting for a human agent, you’re greeted by a friendly virtual assistant. This assistant is basically a chatbot that understands your queries, even if they’re phrased informally or with specific industry jargon, making you feel understood and supported.

These chatbots are equipped with natural language processing (NLP) capabilities, allowing them to interact with customers, understand their queries, provide solutions, learn and improve, and escalate the conversation to a human customer support agent.

How Does Cognitive Automation Work?

Cognitive automation works by combining the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to enable systems to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. Here’s an overview of how cognitive automation works.

Data Processing

Cognitive automation starts by processing various types of data, including text, images, and sensor data, using techniques like natural language processing and machine learning.

Intelligent Decision-Making

It uses AI algorithms to make intelligent decisions based on the processed data, enabling it to categorize information, make predictions, and take actions as needed.

Learning and Adaptation

The system continuously learns from its interactions and data inputs, improving its decision-making abilities and becoming more efficient over time.

Task Automation

Once the system has made a decision, it automates tasks such as report generation, data entry, and even physical processes in industrial settings, reducing the need for manual intervention.

Scalability and Integration

Cognitive automation can seamlessly integrate with existing systems and software, allowing it to handle large volumes of data and tasks efficiently, making it suitable for businesses of varying sizes and needs.

Benefits of Cognitive Automation

The benefits of cognitive automation are numerous and can significantly impact businesses and organizations. Here are some key advantages:

Enhanced Efficiency

Cognitive automation streamlines operations by automating repetitive tasks, leading to quicker task completion and freeing up human resources to focus on more complex and creative aspects of their roles. This efficiency boost results in increased productivity and optimized workflows.

Improved Decision-Making

With the ability to analyze large datasets quickly, cognitive automation provides valuable insights, empowering businesses to make data-driven decisions that are more accurate and informed. This leads to better strategic planning, reduced risks, and improved outcomes.

Error Reduction and Increased Accuracy

By automating tasks that are prone to human error, cognitive automation significantly reduces the likelihood of mistakes, ensuring consistently high-quality output. This is particularly crucial in sectors where precision and accuracy are paramount, such as healthcare and finance.

Cost Savings and Resource Optimization

Through the automation of various tasks, businesses can achieve significant cost savings by reducing the need for manual labor, optimizing resource allocation, and minimizing operational expenses. This cost-effective approach contributes to improved profitability and resource management.

Improved Customer Experience

Cognitive automation enhances the customer experience by providing prompt and accurate responses, round-the-clock support, and personalized interactions. This results in increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and a positive brand image, ultimately leading to business growth and a competitive advantage in the market.

Uses of Cognitive Automation

Data Analysis and Interpretation

For professionals handling complex data sets, cognitive automation simplifies the process by swiftly processing data, providing actionable insights, and supporting informed decision-making, allowing them to focus on strategic initiatives rather than getting lost in data analysis.

Customer Service and Support

For customers seeking assistance, cognitive automation creates a seamless experience with intelligent chatbots and virtual assistants, ensuring prompt and accurate responses to queries, providing personalized support, and fostering a sense of trust and reliability in the company’s services.

Workflow Optimization

Within a company, cognitive automation streamlines daily operations for employees by automating repetitive tasks, enabling smoother collaboration between teams, and enhancing overall workflow efficiency, resulting in a more productive and harmonious work environment.

Risk Management and Compliance

In sectors with strict regulations, such as finance and healthcare, cognitive automation assists professionals by identifying potential risks, ensuring compliance with industry standards, and providing a secure and reliable framework for handling sensitive data, fostering a sense of security and trust among stakeholders.

Predictive Maintenance

For maintenance professionals in industries relying on machinery, cognitive automation predicts maintenance needs, minimizes equipment downtime, and optimizes performance, ensuring a seamless production process and allowing teams to proactively address issues before they escalate, leading to increased operational reliability and cost savings.

Differences Between RPA and Cognitive Automation

RPA and Cognitive Automation differ in terms of—task complexity, data handling, adaptability and learning, decision making abilities, complexity of integration.

Task Complexity

RPA focuses on automating rule-based, repetitive tasks, while cognitive automation handles more complex and cognitive tasks that involve data analysis, decision-making, and learning.

Data Handling

RPA primarily deals with structured data and predefined rules, whereas cognitive automation can handle unstructured data, making sense of it through natural language processing and machine learning.

Adaptability and Learning

While RPA systems follow predefined rules and instructions, cognitive automation solutions can learn from data patterns, adapt to new scenarios, and make intelligent decisions, enhancing their problem-solving capabilities.

Decision-Making Abilities

RPA is limited to executing preprogrammed tasks, whereas cognitive automation can analyze data, interpret information, and make informed decisions, enabling it to handle more complex and dynamic tasks.

Complexity of Integration

RPA is relatively easier to integrate into existing systems and processes, while cognitive automation may require more complex integration due to its advanced AI capabilities and the need for handling unstructured data sources.

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FAQs on Cognitive Automation

What is cognitive automation examples?

Cognitive automation examples include AI-driven chatbots for customer support, data analysis for decision-making, and automated document processing, enhancing operational efficiency across various industries and facilitating personalized customer interactions.

What is the use of cognitive automation?

Cognitive automation is used to streamline operations, improve decision-making, and enhance efficiency through the integration of AI technologies, leading to optimized workflows, reduced manual effort, and a more agile response to dynamic market demands.

What is cognitive automation in RPA?

Cognitive automation in RPA refers to the integration of advanced AI capabilities, such as natural language processing and machine learning, within robotic process automation systems, enabling more intelligent and adaptable automation solutions that can handle complex and unstructured data.

What is the difference between RPA and Cognitive Automation?

The key difference lies in capabilities: RPA focuses on automating rule-based, repetitive tasks, while cognitive automation leverages AI for data analysis, decision-making, and learning, enabling more complex and adaptive automation processes with cognitive capabilities, ultimately leading to more sophisticated and context-aware automation solutions.

Ashutosh Saitwal
Ashutosh Saitwal

Ashutosh is the founder and director of the award winning KlearStack AI platform. You can catch him speaking at NASSCOM events around the world where he speaks and is an evangelist for RPA, AI, Machine Learning and Intelligent Document Processing.

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