Robotics and artificial intelligence: the dynamic duo reinventing the workplace?

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Automation is changing the working landscape at a rapid pace. Robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) are making their way into companies, improving processes and making everyday life easier for employees. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) plays a key role in this fast-paced environment. Unlike industrial robots or cutting-edge technologies, this solution enables tasks to be automated rapidly without any modification to existing systems. Its ease of use and high ROI are winning over a growing number of decision-makers, stimulating innovation in the field.

So the key question is: what impact will these future technologies have on businesses and their employees? This article sheds light on the future of RPA and AI, their joint progress and the way in which they will ultimately shape new forms of work.

What is RPA?

RPA refers to a set of technologies that automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks usually carried out by human beings. In practice, these are software robots that take the place of employees to carry out these tedious activities for them.

These robots work by capturing the actions performed by employees at their workstations. They reproduce these actions identically, following well-defined business rules. Unlike AI, RPAs have no autonomy. They simply imitate human tasks to relieve employees of thankless and/or repetitive everyday tasks.

What’s more, the RPA market is growing all the time. It has seen double-digit growth rates in recent years, and this is set to continue until at least 2024.

The benefits of RPPs

Improving productivity

As we have already seen, RPA transforms the daily lives of employees by relieving them of tedious and time-consuming tasks. Employees see their productivity increase as they spend less time on procedural and repetitive activities. They can concentrate on higher added-value tasks that require creativity and analysis.

Going a step further, RPA refocuses employees on their core business and customer service. It enables them to develop their skills in strategic activities such as complex project management, predictive analysis and the creation of innovative new products and services.

These employees, assisted by software robots, are now referred to as “augmented employees”. Thanks to this unprecedented human-machine collaboration, their performance can be significantly improved.

Automated business workflows

RPA not only automates isolated tasks, it also intervenes in complete workflows. In this way, it connects different business processes to create optimised end-to-end workflows.

Let’s take the example of a company’s invoicing process. Allowing a robot to issue a single invoice is fine. But interconnecting all the stages – quotation, customer order, sending the invoice, unpaid reminders – to create an end-to-end flow, is much better!

RPA orchestrates the sequence of automated tasks and the human approvals required for this global workflow. Data flows seamlessly between the different systems. The result: faster, more reliable and seamless business processes.

This high level of integration brings real added value to businesses. It makes information exchanges more fluid and strengthens the consistency of operations. It also gives managers greater visibility so they can fine-tune their activities and identify areas for improvement.

A lever for improving working conditions

RPA is also likely to improve working conditions in a number of ways:

  • Increased motivation: relieved of thankless tasks, employees are more fulfilled and involved in their work.
  • Reduced stress: the elimination of repetitive and tedious activities reduces fatigue and psycho-social risks.
  • Jobs are upgraded: employees focus on tasks with higher added value, which enhances their skills.
  • Greater autonomy: refocused on their core business, employees gain greater responsibility and room for manoeuvre.
  • Greater creativity: freed up from time-consuming tasks, employees have more time to come up with innovative ideas.
  • Reduced staff turnover: the less arduous nature of certain jobs means that employees remain loyal to the company.

So, in addition to productivity gains, RPA is positively transforming the day-to-day lives of teams. Enough to motivate companies to take the plunge!

AI: the future of RPA?

RPA is currently enjoying a renaissance thanks to recent advances in AI. By integrating cognitive building blocks into software robots, RPA solution publishers are increasing their capabilities. We now speak of intelligent or cognitive RPA.

In concrete terms, these new-generation robots will eventually be able to analyse unstructured data such as e-mails, scanned documents or even voice conversations. They understand the meaning of texts and user requests to trigger the right automated processes.

For example, a robot with natural language processing (NLP) capabilities will analyse the content of an incoming e-mail to automatically qualify the priority level and transfer the request to the appropriate department.

In the future, computer vision will even enable robots to read and understand paper documents to extract structured data.

This alliance between RPA and AI is shaping a new generation of intelligent robots, capable of understanding their environment and making automated decisions. It paves the way for end-to-end process automation, with minimal human intervention.


RPA is already revolutionising the professional world by freeing employees from tedious tasks, enabling companies to increase productivity while improving working conditions. The advent of cognitive robotics with artificial intelligence is pushing back the limits of automation even further by introducing greater autonomy into administrative processes. Ultimately, this skilful man-machine synergy will reshape our relationship to work, paving the way for a virtuous collaboration in which humans and technology will work together to advance our organisations.

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