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Jason White
Jason White

RPA and Chatbots: Two Intersecting Parts of AI

With time, we have evolved from oiled lamps to ever-present electricity, printing every page manually to now producing thousands of copies a day and so on. 

But what is the one thing these distinct things have in common? Yes, technology.

One such branch of technology that has crossed leaps and bounds and turned into a  working technology from a mere fiction is Artificial Intelligence. 

No amount of words would suffice the capabilities of AI that are evident in every other industry. In fact, AI has constantly been leveraged in startup ideas, adding to its growth. Due to this rising popularity, AI has also given birth to numerous other technologies.

In this article, we will be discussing two of them all, which are being mistaken for each other, creating confusion among many - Chatbot and RPA.


AI-based chatbots are software applications developed using Natural Language Processing (NLP). They are designed to analyze and replicate human conversations on the basis of understanding what humans want. They are programmed in a way as to respond to any query entered by the end-user and provide them effective customer support, eliminating the need for the human element.

Here are some of the characteristics of chatbots that are a solid reason for businesses to opt for it -

  • Chatbots can be used for any user-centric process initiated by voice, i.e., phone, physical or voice-enabled interfaces, and others like messages, i.e., web, email, text, and more.

  • It is fundamentally based not based on pure automation, rather on transformation.

  • Chatbots are capable of and primarily focus on simulating and replicating human conversations and understanding human intent to implement automated actions and tasks.

  • Chatbots are able to simulate conversations as they are fed tons of data, guided conversations and are governed by free form conversations that are less structured in nature.

  • A chatbot is a data and conversation-centric technology

  • Because it is independent of human intervention, it really decreases friction across process tasks.

  • This technology is highly adaptable, versatile and intelligence-induced with capabilities inherited by data, knowledge, and experience.

  • Chatbots are useful for both business-led as well as IT-focused.

Robotic Process Automation

Aimed at automating business processes, RPA is an implementation of technology that is governed by business logic and structured inputs like in the areas of finance, operations, production, HR, and distribution departments. With the help of RPA tools, organizations can configure software in order to capture or even interpret applications for manipulating data, processing a transaction, initiating and promoting responses, establish communication with other systems, etc.

To understand RPA more accurately, let’s have a look at the characteristics -

  • RPA is essentially based on automating already-existing business processes

  • One does not require programming knowledge to operate RPA. This has an edge over traditional automation methods as employees only need a little bit of training and everything is smooth-sailing from there.

  • It is applicable to all the repeatable, routine, rule-based, or predictable business processes

  • It is aimed at eliminating the manual processes.

  • As opposed to traditional automation methods that mostly include complex processes for transformation, RPA’s transformation processes are pretty straightforward.

  • It is directed by structured data inputs instead of human inputs or chat.

  • It is process-centric as opposed to chatbots.

  • It decreases friction across process tasks by limiting human handoff

  • It is not flexible in nature to adapt fast to changes or exception-handling.

  • RPA implementations are IT-led with input from the business

Given all these terrific features, more and more CIOs and organizations are adopting RPA in order to reduce menial and tedious tasks and promote corporate workers towards higher-value work. However, one thing to note here is that RPA needs to be properly designed, planned, and governed in order to derive optimum functionality and benefits.

A question has surfaced regarding whether RPA will be replaced by Chatbots or not. Well, whether something like this will happen or not is doubtful from the point we see it, as there are always use cases that validate and support RPA more than chatbots. However, there are solid arguments that hint towards chatbots becoming more popular in the future. 

But, what if they work together? Well, this is something we are still waiting to see. Without a doubt, these two AI-powered technologies together can benefit all the industries in unimaginable ways.


This entry was published on Jan 20, 2020 / Jason White. Posted in Technical Topics. Bookmark the Permalink or E-mail it to a friend.
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IIBAVan posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:03 AM
It is amazing how far we have come in such a short amount of time!
posted on Friday, April 10, 2020 6:28 AM
thank you. it's exactly what i was looking for!!!
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