Stephen Meyer Discusses Automation Anywhere and IQbot

Stephen Meyer of Automation Anywhere sits down with VP, Krista White to discuss his session at Driven 2018, the conference for Innovation in Digital Innovation.

Krista White: Thanks, Stephen, for sitting down with us. You talked today about IQ Bots and what Automation Anywhere has with IQ Bot. Can you tell me a little bit about it?

Stephen Meyer: Yeah. The way automation works today is it works with what's called structured data. Only about 20% of the data in the world today is structured data. It leaves the vast majority of data in the world today inaccessible to automation, so we wanted to bridge that gap. What we do with IQ Bot is we use cognitive technologies and machine learning to take unstructured and semi-structured data, make it structured, and then make it accessible to automation. You're opening up an additional 80% of data to automation.

Krista White: That seems to be a theme around Driven right now. One question that I always get is something that Automation Anywhere says on a regular basis. You guys have saved $750,000 FTEs of time, so full-time employees. Am I going to lose my job to a bot?

Stephen Meyer: That is the number one question that we get when we go to talk to new customers, especially the business users. There is a giant gap between perception and reality when it comes to this subject, the vast majority that business users are getting from social media, or the news, or from people like Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, right. The type of artificial intelligence that they're talking is vastly different from the reality of these types of business solutions. The whole concept of automation is to make your life more efficient, and to make you more accurate, make things more secure. If you're looking at banking and financial information, it's going to be more accurate through a robot than, say, someone who's been working 12 hours a day doing that.

Stephen Meyer: The reality that we see in the field is that they don't fire you once your job becomes more automated. They either have you do things that you were hired to do. I'll give you a good example. There was a vice-president of finance at a large government contracting firm. He's a vice-president, he's an executive. He told me he spends 90% of his day in Microsoft Excel and pivot tables, so imagine what he could do. He probably wasn't hired to be an Excel junkie. Imagine if that portion of his day was now automated, or at least partially automated. What else could he do? What type of creativity are you seeing?

Stephen Meyer: Now there's some other examples that I've seen that were actually quite remarkable, and they're innovative, was large organizations, they'll say, "If your job is now no longer needed because of automation, we'll train you on how to develop bots." Now not only do they learn a new skillset, so if they move on, they're now a developer, but they're also probably making more money. They find a new skillset, something that they're passionate about versus data entry. The vast majority of the organizations we're seeing, they're not ... When we say replacing an FTE, it doesn't mean here's your walking papers. It means we're either going to find something else for you to do, or you're going to actually be doing the job that you're hired for. The technology is not the same as what the Elon Musks of the world are talking about. It's not what we're actually seeing in the field.

Krista White: That's some relief. Thank you for sitting down with us. I hope you enjoyed Driven. Look forward to seeing you next year.

Stephen Meyer: Thank you so much.

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