As a species, we have always kept one eye fixed firmly on what lies ahead. We understand implicitly that we’re moving forward all the time and that the future isn’t so much a dream but rather a promise. That hasn’t stopped us from dreaming, and in fact, we have devoted plenty of energy to imagining the utopia that our inventions will bring about. Writers like Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Ursula Le Guin, and Gene Roddenberry imagined a future filled with robots, artificial intelligences, flying cars, and more. The thing I love most about all these visionaries is how close they were to imagining the future we’re living in now. For example, when the crew of Star Trek first talked with a computer that was mind-blowing! Now it’s simply commonplace conversation thanks to Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri.

While these thinkers nailed it a lot of the time, it’s easy to realize that we have surpassed their lofty imaginations–and that we continue making progress. Artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation have slipped off the pages of the most prominent science fiction novels and appeared in modern society and businesses. We’ve already started taking these conviencies for granted, but that doesn’t mean we should forget how amazed we felt the first time the computer held a conversation and the awesome power of AI and automation. After all, our reality is already in many ways better than fiction.

Automatons Then and Now Here’s a fun factoid that might blow your mind: the very first automation was built in 1737. It was a little flute player that dazzled people. Over 250 years later automation is everywhere, and not just in robots.

We have automated assembly lines, production facilities, and phone trees. More recently, businesses have started employing automated chat services allowing customers to quickly get the information they need or order the products they want. Using a combination of automation and AI, these chat services have become scary good, and the best ones are becoming harder to identify as completely automated (as opposed to staffed by an employee).

Automation is also being used to improve business processes in other ways. Pega can help companies easily analyze product development metrics, for example, which allows companies to spot product or service issues before spending serious money.

A great example of automation is the work we did with BP3. The Austin, Texas-based business has made a global impact with their innovative solutions at the enterprise level. We worked with them to automate a manual process involved in their wire transfers. The automation process allowed them to have faster response times, cutting down on manual computation which in turn led to significant error reduction.

Just how significant? BP3 saw benefits upwards of 30% when you factor in workflow time savings and manual labor reduction.

AI: Advancing Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is getting better every day. Already businesses are looking towards AI to help improve their workflow, how their customers interact with their products and services, and even what information a customer receives.

The power of AI, above everything else, is personalization. Personalization has also been the natural evolution of the Internet. When the Internet started, connecting with people around the world via desktop computers amazed us all. More and more people and information appeared online, rendering the space unmanageable. AI became the ultimate solution to that problem. Now, we connect to exactly we want when we want it — not to mention even before we realize we want it.

The implications for businesses are huge. Not only can businesses employ AI to offer real-time assistance, but they can anticipate the needs of their customers thanks to data. This leads to things like suggested products on Amazon, curated radio stations on Pandora and much more. Imagine trying to hire enough people to offer that level of personalization for all of your customers. Yikes, right?

The Three Laws of Robotics

Asimov dreamed up three guiding principles of robotics: a robot cannot hurt a human, it must obey orders, and it must protect its own existence. Today, we have a different set of laws for robotics: a robot cannot become too dangerous or too difficult for humans, it must help to empower companies to become more productive, and it absolutely cannot enslave the human race.

Okay, admittedly, the laws of robotics sound more like guidelines than laws, but all kidding aside, robots have been a staple in the manufacturing world for decades. Robots are much more accurate than humans when it comes to crafting many products, but one thing that we sometimes forget is that robots also enable an on-demand convenience. As robots become more and more efficient, products that would otherwise need to be created ahead of time can be built on-demand as more and more orders come in.

At this point in our tech-saturated world, we’ve all used technology to inform us what technology to use, and business owners especially have all probably taken advantage of at least one of these concepts. Robotics, automation and AI all have a huge potential to save you money. Of course, how do you know exactly what would give you the most benefit? That’s where Pega comes in. Instead of guessing, the Pega platform can take a deep-dive into your business and figure out exactly where you can employ these advanced technologies.

Interested in the Pega platform but sure how it will help your business grow? Give our experts a shout. It’s the first step towards increasing your return and making your customers even happier.

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