Comparison: Robot Process Automation vs Artificial Intelligence

If you’re surfing the internet to find the difference between Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), this is the place that’ll clear all your doubts.


Learning of Blog

  • Introduction
  • What is Robotic Process Automation?
  • What is Artificial Intelligence?
  • RPA vs AI
  • Conclusion





According to Artificial Intelligence experts, people get confused between Robotic Process Automation and Artificial Intelligence; people with a non-technical background often use them interchangeably.


Sometimes, it’s difficult to differentiate between these two terms when they’re used in a single sentence, but they’re not as supernatural as they sound: These processes are a part of your daily life – Alexa setting up your alarm for the next day, watch the movies that Netflix is tired of recommending you, or order those cool sneakers you saw on Amazon in the recommendations section.


Hopefully, this blog will explain the differences between RPA and AI and how they’re applied in the real world.


What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic Process Automation is a software robot (not a physical robot) that automates manual processes. It is process-driven (AI is data-driven), meaning that it works based on pre-built processes (monotonous and repetitive) and rules. These processes are built to minimize human interference.


Some examples of RPA are invoice management to automatically record and print bills in accounting software, customer support process in which the system automatically redirects the user to the appropriate department.


What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is like a magic wand; behind the curtains, it’s all science and nothing mystical. AI is the term used to address a collection of technologies, like Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), Deep Learning, and the like. All these applications are used to make systems behave more human-like.

As mentioned above, RPA is process-driven, but AI feeds on data to make systems more intelligent. One of the recent popular successes of AI is FaceApp, a mobile application that will show you will you look when you get old (and that’s creepy). Another famous example of AI is Amazon’s Alexa, a virtual assistant, to make your life comfortable.


One of the best features of AI is that it can adjust itself according to the situation, learn from the data, and get better with time; this was an example of ML. Under the tree of AI, there’s NLP as well. In simple terms, it is how machines understand the human language. Virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa use NLP to gain an understanding of the human voice.



It is to be noted that RPA and AI fall under the category of Intelligent Automation (IA) – which works towards accelerating automation of business processes.


Here are some differences between RPA and AI:


  • Learning versus Action – One of the fundamental differences between AI and RPA is that at the core, AI focuses on planning, learning, and improving, whereas RPA focuses on action.



For example, your vendors may send you invoices at the end of every billing cycle. You download the invoices, and note down the necessary details and generate invoices in your system. RPA is your best friend to automate this process for you. An RPA can easily replicate such copy-paste processes, extract the information, and new generate bills.


If you need to read specific invoices and extract details like due amount, due date, invoice number, and the like, AI is all you need.


  • Data Centric vs Process Centric – Another significant difference between AI and RPA in their concentration. RPA is all about automating repetitive processes, following the rules, and reducing human efforts. Alternatively, AI uses high-quality data and information. In the example mentioned above, we will find relevant sample data to classify the invoices as high-quality or not. After that, we choose an ML algorithm, the system with enough sample data, confirming that the invoices are genuine and contain all the necessary details. This will help select high-quality invoices faster.




We believe that all your doubts are now clear, and you must have understood that these two are different from each other.


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