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RPA is Still Often Mistakenly Considered a Form of AI

by sol-admin

Aggressive marketing language can often drive a lack of clarity around technical concepts. Somewhat surprising, is that confusion between RPA and AI is high even among organizations that have automation in place. A few months ago, Alpha Health, the first Unified Automation company for revenue cycle management in healthcare, conducted a national survey designed to assess the adoption of automation in revenue cycle operations at health systems and hospitals across the U.S. Here is the digest of its findings.

The survey was fielded between May 19, 2020, and June 22, 2020, among 587 chief financial officers and revenue cycle leaders at health systems across the United States. The survey has a confidence level of 95 percent with a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.

Survey respondents were asked, “Do you consider RPA, as a technology, to be a form of AI?”

Surprisingly more than 50 percent of revenue cycle leaders in organizations that are actively using automation in their revenue cycle operations demonstrate confusion between RPA and AI:

No, they are entirely
different forms of
RPA is a form of AI
Yes, we use automation 46.4% 53.6%
No, we do not use automation anymore 20.0% 80.0%
No, we have never used automation 35.9% 64.1%

So, let’s remind those who might mix up RPA and AI what the main difference is:

  • RPA is deterministic while AI is probabilistic;
  • RPA bots can be good for automating simple, discrete, and static tasks;
  • AI and machine learning technologies are capable of automating much more complex tasks that require some degree of judgment or subject matter expertise. Furthermore, AI and machine learning solutions can have the ability to navigate changes or new variables without the need to reprogram or recode a bot every time something changes.

The Definition of the difference between AI and RPA by NICE is the following:

“While RPA is used to work in conjunction with people by automating repetitive processes (attended automation), AI is viewed as a form of technology to replace human labor and automate end-to-end (unattended automation). RPA uses structured inputs and logic, while AI uses unstructured inputs and develops its own logic.”


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