What’s the Difference Between Automation and AI?
First, it’d be useful to establish the difference between the two terms because whilst they’re often used interchangeably, they’re actually very different. Automation is the scheduled carrying out of a task by a non-human entity (generally a piece of software code for customer communication) based on pre-set parameters. A great example of automation is Facebook quick replies. A customer can contact your brand and choose their question from a pre-designed list, and then receive the relevant pre-written answer. There’s no learning or judgement call made here, just a simple “if this, then that” style process. AI, however, is much more complex.
Generally speaking, there are two types of AI: artificial intelligence and augmented intelligence. Rather than go down the minefield of deeply technical definitions, in this article when we use the term “AI”, we’re referring to a technology which uses its own learning and experience to improve its output.
A good example here is a sentiment analysis tool. In Gnatta, we use tools like this to give you real–time insight into your customer’s perception of you. The tool does this by constantly learning to recognise sentiment in an ever-greater vocabulary, and therefore increasing both its range and its accuracy. This is separate from automation as there’s no human manually entering that “bad service” is a negative term; the intelligence deciphers it on its own.
Whilst it’s easy to get the technologies confused, this fundamental difference of self-improvement is what separates AI from automation and gives it the much greater potential when it comes to creating new processes and unlocking additional value. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth taking a step back and appreciating automation in detail.