Automation Anywhere bolsters business automation with new Gen AI platform

The AI Agent Studio can help enterprises build custom AI agents using low-code tools, making it easy to quickly create specialised AI bots that help with specific cognitive tasks

Updated - June 13, 2024 12:27 pm IST

Published - June 13, 2024 10:48 am IST

Mihir Shukla, CEO and co-founder of Automation Anywhere, delivering Imagine 2024 keynote at Austin, Texas

Mihir Shukla, CEO and co-founder of Automation Anywhere, delivering Imagine 2024 keynote at Austin, Texas | Photo Credit: John Xavier

Automation Anywhere, a leading intelligent automation service provider, is scaling up its business automation service portfolio with a new generative AI platform, aimed at making organisational workflows efficient through discovery, development, and deployment of AI automation processes.

CEO and co-founder Mihir Shukla unveiled a series of enterprise solutions enmeshed with Gen AI tools and models at the company’s annual ‘Imagine’ event in Austin, Texas. The underlying drivers of this integration are the company’s Gen AI Process Models, which are designed to improve process discovery, automate tasks and improve accuracy with document processing. The models are tuned with metadata from over 300 million process automations running on the company’s cloud-native platform.

Enterprises can build custom AI bots by using Automation Anywhere’s new AI agent creation platform, called AI Agent Studio. The AI agents can be trained on company’s data to make decisions and act across the enterprise’s digital ecosystem.

The platform features low-code tools, making it easy for developers to quickly create specialised AI agents to help with specific cognitive tasks.

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Automation Anywhere claims these solutions will significantly improve efficiency by bringing down the time taken to complete certain process tasks from several hours to just minutes. Such improvements could notably enhance value across business workflows like customer service operations, finance, IT and HR.

Gen AI is “under hyped” and the technology is “ultra transforming,” Mr. Shukla said in his keynote. Drawing parallels between today’s advances in AI and the Internet revolution of the 1990s, he noted that “If we undermine this technology, it is only at our own peril.”

Cloud partnership expansion

Apart from the Gen AI integration, Automation Anywhere also announced expansion in partnerships with AWS and Microsoft Azure. These partnerships are aimed at enabling the company’s Gen AI platform to provide conversational automation and co-pilot capabilities within the cloud ecosystem of large tech firms.

To a question on whether expanding partnership with cloud vendor would create a competition, Chief Product Office Adi Kuruganti told The Hindu, “At a core value proposition perspective, we are going to be multi-vendor, multi-model, and as well as contextual automation workflow provider. We care about building AI agents for workflow automations.”

While AWS and Google Cloud do not provide specific business automation solutions, Microsoft does offer business automation through its Power Automate product.

On Microsoft, Mr. Kuruganti agreed that “There will be overlap [with Microsoft], but that is okay as customers use a lot of different products. And in some way, from a technology and a product perspective, we want it to operate that way. We don’t want to create barriers because automation by [its] very definition has to work across applications.”

Automation and labour implication

Automation Anywhere is bolstering its offering at a time when Gen AI tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini, and Anthropic’s Claude have captured the popular imagination with tools that have proven their broad-based capabilities. These tools have allowed people to harness the power of AI through natural language text prompts.

These applications can now perform a range of repetitive tasks, such as data classification and reorganisation. This is an area where companies in the business of automation are finding strong use cases for Gen AI in workflow streamling.

UiPath, another leader in enterprise automation, has also been beefing up its offerings with Gen AI features and connecting its services with Google and Microsoft’s cloud platforms.

According to a McKinsey report on the economic potential of Gen AI and automation, these changes in technology and business workflows could lead to half of today’s work activities be automated within the next three decade. And most of these will be cognitive tasks carried out by knowledge workers.

While merging Gen AI with other automation tools can increase productivity growth, workers will need help through job transition support and skilling opportunities as new roles emerge, the report noted.

(This writer was invited to the Imagine 2024 event at Austin, Texas)

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