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AI opens new opportunities for BPOs and corporate shared service centers

David Yang

August 15, 2017

AI opens new opportunities for bpos and corporate shared service centers

Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is taking over the world with many full-time employees (FTE) worried it will eventually replace their jobs. Experts at Oxford University have estimated that 47% of all U.S. jobs are at risk of being replaced by automatic systems. BPOs and corporate Shared Service Centers employ numerous people performing low skilled jobs, such as manual information keying – will these FTEs be replaced with robots performing the same actions at a lower cost? Are capture BPOs and service centers at risk of extinction? We believe the exact opposite. The same AI technology that many fear threatens BPO existence, actually opens new opportunities for BPOs to thrive. Here’s why:

Are capture BPOs and service centers at risk of extinction? We believe the exact opposite.

From an algorithmic standpoint, AI does not require new inventions in computer science. Most AI methods have been used for decades. What’s fueling the AI revolution and its wide adoption is data and its dynamic accessibility via electronic formats.

Training a computer system to make the right decisions requires supervised machine learning over large volumes of historical data. The historical data comes from paper or electronic archives that need to be processed, structured and analyzed. However, extracting data is especially challenging because different tasks require different data. For example, say you have an archive of customer contracts as a data source. In one case, you may want to analyze the correlation between contract size and liability limits; in another case you may want to analyze contract time, size and geographical location. Each next task would require extraction of new data, requiring the need to go back to the data source and capture new information.

This sophisticated level of information management is why further adoption of AI technology will increase demand for information extraction, classification, and analysis. Since information management is never the core expertise for an enterprise, it will be outsourced as much as possible. BPOs and internal corporate Shared Service Centers need to be ready to process increasing number of data extraction projects and meet the increasing expectations for quality and turnaround time.

We introduced the concept of Robotic Information Capture (RIC) in a recent whitepaper that outlines opportunities where BPOs and service centers can leverage existing operators in a new capacity.

It advocated that instead of performing one-time manual data keying or correction, knowledge workers can act as supervisors, training AI-driven robotic capture systems to extract information for specific use cases. With each new document, a system trains its robots to perform classification and information capture tasks automatically, thereby reducing the need for human supervision. This training is based on the ability of the system to assess the quality of work for its robots and requires human review only for the subset of processed information.

Robotic Information Capture (RIC) solutions change the game for BPOs by allowing them to build expertise and train internal AI for specific use cases.

RIC solutions change the game for BPOs by allowing them to build expertise and train internal AI for specific use cases. This converts traditional highly-competitive low-value manual operations to use case specific, highly-automated services, which create a unique competitive advantage for BPOs and open new opportunities to increase profit margins.

Request an ABBYY FlexiCapture demo.

Digital Transformation Enterprise
David Yang ABBYY

David Yang

Founder and Chairman of the Board, ABBYY

David Yang, Ph.D., is a physicist by training and a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur with a focus on AI. He is the founder of ABBYY and is a Board of Director, and the co-founder of, the creator of the drag-n-drop builder of the Non-Human Workers, Digital Employees. Yang is a TEDx speaker Will robots ever become part of the human family, a member of Band of Angels, founded 12 companies, and holds numerous patents and scientific publications. The World Economic Forum in Davos named him one of the top 100 World Technology Pioneers.

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