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Turning Business Documents into Actionable Insights with AI

December 14, 2017

Turning Business Documents into Actionable Insights with AI | ABBYY Blog Post

The rapid advancement in cognitive technologies is significantly impacting the way businesses transform their unstructured documents into actionable insights to achieve better business outcomes. The days are long gone when companies rely solely on OCR technology for converting business-critical documents into actionable information. ABBYY's Chief Innovation Officer Anthony Macciola shares insights into next era of customer relationships and why companies must smarten up with artificial intelligence (AI).

Human in the Loop

Macciola believes that the on-going onslaught of AI and its integration in business will not remove the need for enterprises to have knowledge workers: “With all AI solutions, people with more advanced training are needed who understand the company’s core values in addition to the technology processes.” This is because people have the characteristics that AI solutions need, such as empathy, creativity, judgement and critical thinking skills. Therefore, the skilled worker will always be vital to the success of the organization.”

What do customers want?

The most appropriate mind-set for organizations, Macciola says, should be focusing on what customers are trying to do and adjusting to that. “Customers want a system to watch and learn what their knowledge workers are doing as part of their daily routines. They want a system that can then start recommending courses of action based on learned behavior. They also want the knowledge worker to be able to direct the system to automate from past recommendations.”

For Macciola, these insights point to machine learning and RPA. “RPA is likely going to make an impact on automating basic repetitive tasks. In addition, AI on top of RPA will advance the types of repetitive tasks that can be automated. ”

“Consequently, once organizations have automated various tasks by adding a level of learned intelligence, they’re going to want to monitor and understand the impact those efforts are having on their organization. This will result in businesses and their workforces going through a material change over the next three to five years.”

Adjusting to Disruption

Macciola believes organizations must adjust for AI to work successfully and this will demand a significant shift in skills. The priority will be having workers who are open to embracing new technology.

The general workplace will result in more tasks being addressed by a system of record applications. “In the mortgage lending market, for example, the dependency on a loan origination officer to drive the loan process will diminish over time due to the system being able to make intelligent decisions based on past funding behavior. This will leave only rules-based exceptions to require a loan processor’s attention, significantly reducing  the overall workload for loan officers, while allowing them to be more responsive when an exception rises.”

“Another skills shift will be that the workers’ role will shrink from a span of control and expertise standpoint. As the software gets smarter, its dependency on the workforce shrinks and the knowledge workers will become more narrowly focused from a role and responsibility standpoint.”

Looking ahead

Macciola predicts industry will see significant change in three areas largely driven by the convergence of Robotic Process Automation and AI. RPA software is a powerful tool to perform manual, time-consuming, rules-based office tasks more efficiently by reducing cycle time and at lower costs than other automation solutions.

“The adoption and advancement of RPA will usher in a follow-on wave of machine learning capabilities associated with the automation of document processing, basic decision making and task automation. Use cases that have traditionally been associated with capture will converge with evolving document centric RPA use cases. The application of AI technology is now expanding to provide benefits in process automation, analytics, and process discovery use cases.”

“AI will also result in the automation of basic tasks performed by knowledge workers today and will have a large impact on the makeup and size of corporate work forces throughout fin-tech, healthcare, transportation and logistics, and government customer/constituent engagement scenarios.”

“Lastly, robotics will not be limited to R2D2 or C3PO. Software robotics will become pervasive within the corporate workplace at a pace much quicker than most people think… Within capture, within RPA, within analytics, and within monitoring and reporting (situational awareness).”


Read more: This article first appeared in the online edition of AI Business magazine. To view the issue in full, please go to

Digital Transformation Artificial Intelligence (AI) Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Enterprise

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