RPA and AI: Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence: A Comparison

September 30, 2019

The advancement of automated systems has spanned a number of decades, with the development of new types of technologies that are able to help people accomplish more tasks. They do this by making certain processes automatic and programmable. One of these technologies is Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Robotic Process Automation was created with the goal of streamlining tasks and processes to optimize business effectiveness. It has become one of the most sought-after technologies for a wide number of industries. The technology has been proven to promote process efficiency, and Artificial Intelligence can expand this functionality even further. 

Understanding RPA and AI

RPA and AI are two types of technologies that may be used to automate human tasks. Both have their own set of processes and systems that allow them to accomplish this goal. RPA fulfills these functions through the use of software robots programmed to perform a certain set of tasks. The range of these tasks can vary from simple to complex, depending on the number of robots and the tasks assigned.

Software robots can handle repetitive tasks, as well as analyze data and perform processes non-stop with little to no errors. RPA robots would simply have to log in to different applications to begin performing their tasks. As the robots perform efficiently, you can choose to focus manpower on higher-value tasks; for example, giving back-office tasks to RPA while letting human workers give more time to quality customer service.

On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence is a technology designed to perform tasks that require cognitive functions that normally require human intelligence. Compared to Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence doesn’t rely on hard rules and can learn to perform complex tasks on its own just by consuming data. This ability to learn is made possible through the concept called machine learning.  


These learning processes provide the system with data and statistics that the AI would decipher and understand over time. This allows the AI to constantly improve and learn how to perform a multitude of tasks independently, just as a human could do.

An example of an Artificial Intelligence system is Pointwest’s own Skriba. It is an Optical Character Recognition program that uses cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence to analyze and extract text (even handwritten ones) in document images for digital storage and retrieval. Instead of spending precious time in the painstaking task of encoding records, you can just scan a document, have Skriba “read” it, and it reproduces the text in the image (usually a filled form). Machine learning is used to help Skriba learn how to read even the most difficult of handwritings.

RPA and AI: Working Together

While some might see Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence as two competing technologies, the opposite is actually the case. These two are not only able to work together but also enhance each other’s functionality.

By themselves, RPA and AI greatly improve the efficiency of businesses. Imagine what they can do when combined. 

To make it work, RPA robots can be tasked to gather and feed data to AI models. The AI model, trained on volumes of data through machine learning, would be able to process the data forwarded by the robot and churn out results that it will return to the RPA robot. Putting these two together will create a near-autonomous system that can perform tasks without supervision while having the ability to learn and improve.

Integrating RPA and AI in Business and Industry

Implementing a system that uses both RPA and AI provides a number of benefits. These include improving overall work efficiency and providing a better customer experience. Here are examples of industries that can greatly benefit from these two systems:

Banking and Finance

The banking and finance industry is heavy on financial calculations and transactions, which means that there should be no margin of error when it comes to making computations. Speed and accuracy are crucial when accomplishing these processes, which is why using RPA and AI will help reduce human error in the process.

Using RPA and AI will allow you to make faster calculations and provide accurate numbers to your clientele. This will also help you finish jobs quickly and more efficiently. Such jobs include money transfers, exchanges, and other types of transactions.

Airlines and Transportation

Airlines and transportation is another busy industry where RPA and AI would help improve operations. RPA and AI systems can handle processes like ticket bookings and calculating travel costs. An RPA and AI system would also be able to connect with the passengers during their journey as well, providing them with reminders, messages, and other information that they would need.


Healthcare is one of the most important industries, as they deal with a person’s health and wellbeing. It is important that patients receive immediate care, which is why using RPA and AI to implement faster and better systems would be beneficial. RPA and AI can handle inquiries, leaving medical professionals more time to focus on patient care.


The retail industry is a business where quality customer service is one of the most important aspects. RPA and AI can handle tasks such as conducting transactions, providing product information to customers, and creating applications that help connect customers to the store. 


RPA and AI are two technologies that have been at the forefront of innovation in businesses and industries across the globe. By integrating these two systems together, you can develop some of the best and most efficient processes that will enable your business to provide better products and services.


About Pointwest

Founded in 2003 by pioneers of the Philippine Global Sourcing industry, Pointwest creates value for its list of satisfied clients — including top Fortune 100 and local companies — with world-class digital innovation and IT modernization services backed by international-standard methodologies, and innovative practices. 

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