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Business process automation has been around for decades, and it is not being disrupted by the power of generative AI.

At today’s VentureBeat Transform 2023, Kognitos founder and CEO Binny Gill and Wipro Ventures managing partner Biplab Adhya discussed how generative AI can help improve automation. The panel was moderated by VentureBeat’s Carl Franzen. 

Back in February, Kognitos raised $6.8 million in a funding round that included Wipro Ventures, the investment arm of Wipro, a global IT consulting and business process services firm. Adhya explained that Wipro Ventures’ goal is to identify disruptive, emerging technology companies that its business units can work with, and use the solutions to help its enterprise customers.

“Automation is a key component of what our customers want from us,” Adhya said.

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Over the years, automation has come in different forms, including rule based process technology, robotic process automation (RPA) and more recently low code frameworks. With the  advent of generative AI, Adhya said that his team realized that the technology has the potential to create a disruptive way to handle business process automation.

“Everybody talks about the potential of what it can do,” Adhya said about generative AI. ” What we were looking for is the touch of reality around what you can do today and how it can be safely used by enterprises.”

How Kognitos aims to disrupt the automation market with natural language

Kognitos’ Gill noted that the notion of bringing automation to enterprises is not new. What is, however, a newer concept is using natural language to enable automation. This is what Kognitos is doing with its generative AI platform.

“Now you don’t have to learn the language of the machine, the machine is now learning the language of humans,” Gill said.

With the legacy approach to automation, rules typically need to be hard coded to be executed. With the AI approach used by Kognitos, that’s not the case. Gill explained that the AI engine that runs the automation is okay with ambiguity and the system is continuously learning from human interaction.

As such, instead of an approach where an organization writes code, runs it and prays that it works, Gill said that organizations can have a system where the AI provides dialogue to ask users when it’s not entirely clear what approach should be taken.

“You get the rigor of business logic and you’re still following a business process meticulously,” said Gill. “But then there are places where you need some kind of human judgment. That’s where it will accelerate the human with still require human permission, and over time your business gets faster and faster.”

AI is’ just another’ employee

For Wipro, Adhya said, Kognitos AI is like just having another employee.

“It’s an engine for the business user, it’s almost like a colleague to a business user, and the user is training his or her colleagues to do stuff that that person is doing,” Adhya said. 

Not only is the Kognitos AI platform thought of as just like another employee, but Gill noted that the generative AI approach with natural language also means that organizations shouldn’t have to hire additional employees and data scientists to manage the automation engine.

“The language of automation is both understood by a layman and the machine,” said Gill.

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