Business School excellence at AI event

02 Nov, 2020
Headshot of Lena Waizenegger

After a year filled with predominantly online events, Dr Lena Waizenegger (Business Information Systems) was delighted to accept an invitation to speak in person at the recent Artificial Intelligence (AI) show in Auckland.

Hosted by marketing strategist Justin Flitter and attended by around 150 people, the show is a flagship event for the AI community. It features frontrunners in the AI sector who present practical applications, user cases, and projects that impact businesses, people and society at large.

This year’s line-up included talks about ethics and AI, the power of natural language processing, the potentials of Robotic Process Automation, and dispelling AI myths. Also on the programme: an AI strategy case study in the construction sector, and a presentation on how to use computer vision to monitor and safeguard Māui dolphins.

Lena shared key insights from the research project she is conducting in collaboration with AUT Associate Professor Angsana Techatassanasoontorn. They are investigating Robotic Process Automation (RPA), a technology comprising software robots that mimic the manual path taken by humans through a range of computer applications when they perform certain tasks in a business process.

Lena gave a short demo of software robots, explaining how they work, why more and more organisations are jumping on the RPA bandwagon, and the benefits of software robots.

She challenged the audience to think of processes in their own organisation which are rule-based, have high transaction volumes, are relatively stable, and interface with a lot of different systems. Generally, she said, these are great candidates for RPA.

In closing, Lena elaborated on the crucial points businesses must consider when implementing RPA and offered three key take-aways:

* RPA can’t fix a bad process – redesign it first 
* Bring your people on board – change management is key 
* Let the numbers speak – seeing is believing.

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