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Blog | Jun 14, 2024

Why You Might Need Human-in-the-Loop Automation

Human-in-the-Loop Automation
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Some tasks need the personal touch that can’t be done by automation – but that doesn’t mean those tasks can’t also be partly automated to make them better. That’s where human-in-the-loop (HITL) automation comes in. It brings the digital and human workforce together for more efficient business processes.

Some work still requires the human element. For example, a HITL automation can fill in a contact form and then send it to an employee to verify the correct information before logging it into the system. This ensures accuracy while freeing the employee by automating repetitive tasks.

What Is Human-in-the-Loop?

Where human decision-making is a requirement, HITL automation is the key. It ensures a person is present in at least one part of a process.

What is human-in-the-loop automation?

HITL automation is when you incorporate humans into automated systems that require a certain level of decision-making to take place. Human oversight or intervention is integrated into fully automated processes and workflows to either oversee, guide, validate or judge certain stages or information during the automation process.

HITL is the interaction between humans and machines, combining the efficiency and consistency of digital workers with the contextual understanding of humans. HITL can involve the use of machine learning (ML) models, where humans review and validate the outputs of these models. However, it’s important to note that HITL itself is not an ML model.

HITL allows for end-to-end process automation through technologies such as intelligent automation (IA) – with the stipulation that the system requires human input before being considered as complete. HITL is also called “attended automation”.

What’s the difference between attended and non-attended automation?

Unattended robotic process automation (RPA) allows your software robots, or digital workers, to be triggered automatically to complete a process. It doesn’t require human involvement and uses rule-based processing.

Meanwhile, attended RPA requires a person to manually trigger the bot to complete a specific activity. A human tells the digital workers to perform the assigned task, allowing an employee to monitor the automation while it runs activities.

Our Human-in-the-Loop Solution

SS&C | Blue Prism® Interact is a collaborative platform for HITL-attended automation that unifies people and digital workers. It’s a scalable, real-time, human-to-digital collaboration platform that’s designed to address more complex processes that require either manual initiation or cooperation between human and digital workers.

With Interact, you can:

  • Close the automation gap: Manage end-to-end automated processes that require human intervention.
  • Manageable, no-code forms: Easily manage forms, submissions and user access/roles, and create custom, branded forms that deliver more flexible automations and data inputs.
  • Great for multiple scenarios: Meet the demands of your business with flexibility for back-, middle- and front-office automation use cases.
  • Easily handle exceptions: Manage exceptions and optimize processes for a more seamless customer experience.
  • Increase productivity: With humans and digital workers collaborating, you can reduce the number of time-consuming tasks taking up human resources.

Interact simplifies communications via an intuitive interface that lets users interact with digital workforces — securely and at scale to give you an attended automation system. Whether cloud-delivered for on-premises, cloud environments or included as part of SS&C | Blue Prism® Cloud, our fully managed SaaS-delivered intelligent automation platform, we have an Interact option to suit your business.

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What’s an Example of Human-in-the-Loop Automation?

Customer service is a great example of HITL automation. When a customer or user visits your website, you might have a chatbot with some levels of automation attached to it to handle routine inquiries and basic tasks. When these queries become a little more advanced or complex, the chatbot can then involve or even hand the query over to your human operators for further action.

Another example is invoice processing. With the help of optical character recognition (OCR) and intelligent document processing (IDP) technology, digital workers can automatically read and capture information from paper-based invoices. If they get stuck or encounter bad data or illegible text, they can then send these to a human to handle.

Benefits of Human-in-the-Loop Automation

HITL technologies like Interact allow organizations to automate more while ensuring security, compliance and accuracy.

  • Capture data and pass it on: Users can select from a series of pre-built forms to capture data and send it to a digital co-worker for handling.
  • Easily share workloads: Trigger digital worker-initiated workflows, as well as initiate, verify, receive and authorize a variety of work.
  • Human-digital collaboration: Digital workers can partner with users to share data or ask for more information.
  • Improved efficiency and accuracy: Allow for human judgment in decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Compliance: Human involvement adds an extra layer to ensure automated processes comply with regulations.
  • Flexibility: Human oversight allows for adaptability when complex or unexpected situations arise.
  • Continuous improvement: Human input can contribute to improving artificial intelligence (AI) models through a feedback loop.
  • Reduce errors: Put a person in the loop to ensure nothing gets missed and automate repetitive tasks to reduce human errors.

The human-in-the-loop approach integrates human expertise with the efficiency of a digital workforce to achieve stronger and more capable automation solutions.

Use Cases for Human-in-the-Loop Automation

HITL is currently applied across several industries and functions that benefit from the combination of humans and digital workers functioning together.

  • Customer support: Automation handles the majority of simple cases and humans are involved when there is a complex case or needs personalized assistance.
  • Quality control: Automation can automatically detect product defects, but humans can be included in the process to review more nuanced issues and verify automation is working correctly and as intended.
  • Content moderation: Digital workers work from a list of rules and filters that they can automatically flag up; human moderators can then take over to review and make the final decision.
  • Document translation: Digital workers can copy or translate text from one system to another. A human can then review and refine this data if necessary and check for accuracy.

Human-Digital Collaboration

HITL automation seamlessly integrates human decision-making with automated workflows to enhance efficiency and accuracy in business operations. HITL is essential for tasks that require human judgment, such as verifying contact form details or handling complex customer service inquiries. The HITL approach combines the strengths of digital workers with human oversight, ensuring high standards of accuracy and compliance.

SS&C | Blue Prism® Interact facilitates this collaboration, offering scalable, real-time automation that bridges gaps where human intervention is crucial. HITL automation proves beneficial across various use cases, from quality control and content moderation to document translation – driving productivity and enabling continuous improvement.

Discover how you can get your people and digital workers to collaborate with SS&C Blue Prism’s automation solutions.

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