How will hyperautomation affect current understanding of automation?

Q:

How will hyperautomation affect automation as we currently understand it?

A:

While hyperautomation is an extremely important term in today's technology conversations, it's also one that is fairly subjective and broad.

In general, hyperautomation refers to the move from simpler rule-based systems of automation to new generative models that automate in ways previously thought impossible. Hyperautomation is often entwined with the idea of artificial intelligence (AI)where machines take on more cognitive work that more closely imitates human decision-making.

For example, the simple robotics automations that may have helped American factory workers to fill boxes or bags with products illustrate the traditional automation approach. Problems arise when they fail to account for a wide range of shapes and sizes of containers, defect potential, or special conditions, like when a bag or box slips in its holder.

Decision-making Adaptations

By contrast, a new hyperautomation would build in sophisticated image processing and computer vision through a convolutional neural network or other means, coupled with decision-making AI, so that if the machine encountered a different size or shape, it would effortlessly adapt with no human intervention needed.

With that in mind, hyperautomation is often talked about as the next step beyond conventional automation. Rules-based robotics support and assistance setups embody the kinds of systems we think of as traditional automations. Although they've only been around for several years, they are relatively established technology benchmarks.

Hyperautomation, then, proceeds beyond these and into implementing artificial intelligence in actual automation processes.

Next-generation Automation

It may not be too simplistic to call hyperautomation “next-generation automation” in order to envision how this is going to work. Another way to think about how hyperautomation changes automation is to look at some analogies.

If web 2.0 was the evolution of the Internet beyond simple webpage linking to a global services platform, web 3.0 or semantic web represents a step ahead from that to a searchable and linkable data asset network that will change how we utilize the global Internet. Hyperautomation would be similar – it's a paradigm-changing application of new technology to something that we’re already doing in the form of traditional automations.

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Written by Justin Stoltzfus
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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.