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Blog: Differences Between RPA and Cognitive Automation


Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Cognitive Automation (CA) have the potential to make business processes smarter and more efficient. However there are some differences between both. Let’s have a look at it-

Robotic Process Automation is a technology to replicate high volume, repetitive and time taking human actions with more precision and accuracy by using software robots. RPA can be applied on rule based or logic based task only. These software, mostly known to us as a ‘robot’ mimic human execution of tasks via user interfaces already in place. It captures and interprets existing applications empowering transaction processing, data manipulation and communication without affecting the current IT landscape.

Whereas, Cognitive Automation is a machine learning based activity which simulates human thought process in a computerized model which has self learning system in the same way human mind works. It is commonly associated with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) as the conjunction between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Cognitive Computing.

Where RPA can be Applied:

  1. Recordings / Macros
  2. Screen Scrapping
  3. Data Extraction
  4. Excel Automation
  5. Email Automation
  6. Reporting
  7. Other time taking and repetitive tasks

Where Cognitive Automation can be Applied:

  1. Machine Learning
  2. Natural Language Processing
  3. Computer Vision
  4. Text Analysis
  5. Data Mining

Automation Journey:

Image Source: Suchismita Dhal

Example of RPA and Cognitive Automation Working Together:

An organisation receives thousands of unstructured invoices and their data needs to be inserted into an application (i.e. CRM or database) however, RPA is just like data operator and works on standardized data. It can process data only when it is available in a structured or semi-structured format. So to deal with unstructured data, requires the help of cognitive automation to build relationships and find similarities between the items by learning from association. Once cognitive automation converts unstructured data into structured format, RPA would start its job.

Market Size of RPA and Cognitive Automation:

According to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. The global RPA market size is expected to reach USD 3.97 billion by 2025. Whereas, the global Cognitive Automation market size is expected to reach USD 49.36 billion by 2025.

Source: Artificial Intelligence on Medium

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