Robots are here, wreaking havoc and chaos across multiple industries. And that’s actually a good news.
A report by market research company HfS published earlier in 2017, showed that as much as 98% of companies have already introduced some form of process automation into their operations.
Despite that, fears that AI will replace the majority of jobs in the next years are still ungrounded, experts say. A research by consultancy firm McKinsey from January 2017, pointed to the fact that as little as 5% of today’s jobs could be fully automated with currently available technologies. Nevertheless, every job has some aspects to it that are subject to automation, and that’s where today’s businesses need to be focusing their attention.
This is the space that Israel and US-based Kryon Systems plans to disrupt. It announced at the beginning of October 2017, it had raised $12 million to expand its robotic process automation RPA operations across the USA and globally.
The round was led by technology investment firms Aquiline Technology Growth and Vertex Ventures, the latter being an early investor in companies like Facebook and Quora.
Kyron utilizes a number of technological solutions, including visual recognition and deep-learning technologies to automate various repetitive enterprise processes related to managing their enterprise Enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relations management (CRM) and, invoicing systems or interacting with external parties.
In addition to automating per se, the company utilizes deep learning to help companies identify specific processes that lend themselves to automation and then build algorithms for their automation.
Although Kyron works with clients across multiple industries, it says insurance and financial services are a key part of the RPA market, due to the structured nature of their operations.
As stated by US consultancy ISG Research in their 2017 ISG Automation Index, automation can reduce company resource needs by up to 37%, a percentage which varies widely depending on the type of operation. In certain areas, savings may exceed 70% with potential productivity gains of more than 140% in some company departments.
According to McKinsey, “the activities most susceptible to automation are physical ones in highly structured and predictable environments, as well as data collection and processing”. In the US alone, such activities account for 51% of activities in the economy, and as of 2017 are worth almost $2.7 trillion in annual wages. Note that these figures represent an increase from 45% and $2 trillion respectively in 2015.
Industries ripe for automation include manufacturing, accommodation, food services and retail, McKinsey’s report said.
According to ISG, by 2019 37% of businesses worldwide will be using RPA services.
The volume of the RPA market is expected to reach $5 billion by 2024, according to Kyron. The size as quoted by a report by Grand View Research is even larger and will go up to $8,75 billion by 2024, with costs of RPA tools at 65% lower than those of full-time employees.
As per the apocalyptic view that AI will wipe out more than half the jobs, let’s not forget that there are others like Alphabet’s Chairman Eric Schmidt who argue that – at least in part – thanks to AI, we might see job shortage rather than millions of unemployed in the future.