RPA vs GenAI: what’s the difference? – Indigo 21


RPA vs GenAI: what’s the difference? 

RPA vs GenAI: what’s the difference? 

Multicoloured textured image of a human profile made from small spheres in long chains

February 2, 2024

The number of applications for using both RPA and GenAI are growing each day, and the IT landscape is changing rapidly to keep pace. But when it comes to technology and how we use it in business, which is better — RPA or GenAI? And what are the applications in the BPO industry? 

What is RPA? 

RPA, or robotic process automation, is a form of software that can carry out repetitive digital tasks. RPA is a technology that sits under the umbrella term IA, which stands for intelligent automation. Whether that’s data processing, moving documents between saved spaces or servers, or other time-consuming tasks, RPA can handle them all. Using RPA can save your organisation time and human effort, freeing up your people to work on projects that need human attention. Speaking to EnterprisersProject.com, Aaron Bultman from Nintex, said: “RPA bots are capable of mimicking most human-computer interactions to carry out a ton of error-free tasks, at high volume and speed.” This kind of automation and task-handling is critical in modern organisations to allow teams to work at pace with customer service, and maintain a high volume of accurately completed work. 

What is GenAI? 

We briefly dived into this topic back when we decoded BPO jargon, and GenAI stands for generative artificial intelligence. It’s a form of artificial intelligence, or AI, that can generate written content based on prompts, including text or coding prompts in tools like ChatGPT, or image-based content in graphic design tools like Midjourney. But it’s not just for writing emails or creating logos, because GenAI can be used to generate customer email sequences, answer frequently asked questions, or even write the code needed to build a customer service chatbot. ChatGPT has 100 million users and counting, and the full extent of what this tool can be used for remains to be seen. But right now, it’s changing the BPO industry for the better and allowing more personalised customer service by freeing up your people to deal with customers, and chatbots to assist the easier-to-answer queries. 

What’s the difference between RPA and GenAI? 

Many features make RPA distinct from GenAI. Let’s look at two of the main differences between the technologies. 

  1. RPA is process-driven intelligent automation (IA), and GenAI is generative artificial intelligence (AI). Both require some level of human input, but once RPA has received coded instructions, it can repeat the process until it is complete.  
  1. GenAI can produce content from a prompt, but it can’t predict a sequential instruction in the same way as RPA. GenAI must be told what to create, but RPA can be programmed to work independently — for now. Further advances in technology will doubtlessly drive forward the capabilities of both tools. 

RPA and GenAI in BPO 

When it comes to specific applications for the BPO industry, there are many advantages to using both RPA and GenAI. Both technologies help to keep your workforce focused on the tasks they excel in and leave the repetitive tasks to be performed by RPA. Future developments in GenAI will allow teams to develop coding that can operate more advanced generative chat tools and even take care of entire customer service journeys. 

For more information on technologies in the BPO industry, follow our blog. 






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