Democratizing AI-Powered Automation with UiPath
Meet the Authors
⇨ Generative AI is merely a single facilitator of comprehensive digital transformation. But when AI is fused with enterprise automation, organizations can recognize the full potential value of Generative AI.
⇨ UiPath is distinctively positioned to integrate their automation expertise with Generative AI capabilities to observe workflows, comprehend actions, and integrate automation within their platform.
⇨ Project “Wingman” from UiPath enables customers to generate sophisticated automations through simple, intuitive natural language commands.
In today’s rapidly advancing world, businesses often scramble to integrate the latest technologies into their operations as they work through the constraints of time-consuming tasks, interactions with legacy applications, and manually managing operational activities. But it is also crucial to note that Generative AI is merely a single facilitator of comprehensive digital transformation. Standalone Generative AI initiatives offer just a fragment of the broader picture. When AI is fused with enterprise automation, organizations can recognize the full potential value of Generative AI.
UiPath is distinctively positioned to integrate their automation expertise with Generative AI capabilities to observe workflows, comprehend actions, and integrate automation within their platform. Comprehensive platforms such as the UiPath Business Automation Platform amplify the potential of Generative AI. UiPath’s Business Automation Platform delivers an enterprise ready AI approach with an open, flexible, and responsible solution.
Open: The UiPath Platform incorporates inherent AI functionality, allowing enterprises to incorporate their proprietary AI solutions while also providing the capacity to include and integrate external AI systems. This expansive array of options ensures enterprises can build a flexible AI strategy. Whether the objective is to optimize internal AI frameworks or integrate with specialized third-party applications, UiPath offers a comprehensive solution. UiPath embraces an open approach, supporting both generative AI and specialized AI. The platform enables users to leverage the best-in-class models available, whether they are developed by UiPath, brought by users, or sourced from other providers. This openness allows organizations to leverage a wide range of AI capabilities and stay at the forefront of technological advancements in both Generative AI and Specialized AI.
Flexibility: The fundamental power of the UiPath platform stems from its flexibility and capacity to scale, underscored by its comprehensive orchestration of multi-model automations. Such orchestration guarantees that the automation requisites are met with precision, irrespective of the size or phase of an organization, from startups to established enterprises. UiPath provides a flexible platform that allows the construction of workflows by combining multiple AI models, user interfaces (UI), and APIs. This flexibility enables users to create comprehensive automation solutions that leverage the strengths of various AI models. Additionally, users can fine-tune the AI models to suit their specific tasks and domains, ensuring that the automation solutions are tailored precisely to their requirements.
Responsible: UiPath prioritizes responsible AI practices, ensuring the safety and governance of AI-powered automation solutions. The platform incorporates guardrails and governance mechanisms to make sure that AI models used in workflows are deployed responsibly and ethically. By integrating responsible AI principles, UiPath helps organizations mitigate risks associated with AI, such as privacy concerns, bias, and data security, enabling them to build trustworthy and compliant automation solutions.
Stepping into the Generative AI space
UiPath specializes in automation, with a longstanding focus on Robotic Process Automation (RPA). Since the beginning, Artificial Intelligence has been an integral component of its offerings. The primary architecture of UiPath’s initial software suite was AI-driven, reflecting its sustained commitment to AI innovation.
While AI is foundational to UiPath’s operations, the company specifically veered away from a generic AI model, focusing on purpose-driven AI tailored for optimal automation utility. The company is now also integrating Generative AI throughout the UiPath Platform, seamlessly blending it with the essential data, context, governance, and controls required for its effective and safe deployment in enterprise environments. The UiPath Platform combines the robust capabilities of Generative AI with specialized AI models powered by automation. The integration between Generative AI and specialized models, grounded in authentic business data, equips automation robots to comprehend, rationalize, and innovate.
As Craig Dewar, Vice President of Product Marketing at UiPath, states, “We use applied AI across our whole platform spanning Discovery, Automation, and Operation. For example, in discovery we have channeled significant resources into AI-powered tools designed to assist organizations in analyzing and optimizing their operational workflows. This aims at identifying automation potential. In this context, our offerings include task mining, communication mining, and idea management systems, all underpinned by robust AI algorithms.”
On the document processing front, UiPath developed an intelligent document processing system capable of handling forms-based, semi-structured and unstructured documents including emails. Depending on document categorization, users can select from an array of 30 models that best align with their efficiency and cost metrics.
In its ongoing development of the automation platform, two critical differentiators enhance the application of AI in addressing business challenges:
Contextual Understanding: The platform’s robust suite of discovery tools and the automations it deploys within client ecosystems enable it to extract details from various systems, data streams, and documents. This capability allows the platform to inject context into the prompts submitted to AI models. This contextual knowledge is an inherent part of the automation architecture. The platform accelerates data aggregation from various sources, rapidly producing and distributing messages tailored to specific contexts. Furthermore, UiPath’s expertise in processing tasks based on LLM calls and augmenting conversational assistants with contextual insights greatly boosts operational effectiveness.
Actionable Insights: While AI alone is proficient in generating opinions, decisions, or content, the platform stands out by operationalizing these AI-generated insights. To illustrate, consider UiPath’s collaboration with Patty Power, a UK-based entity, they have combined IBM Watson for decision-making with the UiPath platform to transform decisions into actionable tasks, automating a customer service process to improve satisfaction.
Bridging the realms of “context” and “action” is generative AI integration. The UiPath Platform includes connectors compatible with major service providers, including Microsoft, AWS, Google Cloud, and OpenAI. These connectors facilitate generative tasks aimed at automation enhancement. An application example is the ability to automate customer support processes completely. Where previously automation was partial and required human intervention for final communication, the platform now employs AI to draft communications infused with context, ensuring accuracy and relevance. A “human-in-the-loop” feature further refines the process, where communications can be reviewed and approved by human agents prior to the actual communication. This approach exemplifies the essence of UiPath’s core automation strategies.
The UiPath Business Automation Platform uses a combination of UI, API, and Al-based tools to automate virtually any combination of applications across the enterprise. This means that organizations can easily automate existing business processes and build completely new ones that span SAP and non-SAP systems. A simple example of how UiPath automation works is the order-to-cash process. When a customer places an order and signs a contract, the deal is marked as “closed won” in a CRM system such as salesforce.com. A robot is triggered by this event and submits the relevant data to SAP through a BAPI integration, creating a sales order before updating the status back in Salesforce. For example, Coca-Cola Içecek automated key aspects of their order-to-cash (O2C) process and achieved 20% Improvement in cash flow cycle time and saved 30,000 hours.
UiPath also integrates generative AI methodologies into its specialized AI services. For example, consider a scenario where a client aims to develop a model for an unsupported document type. Traditionally, this would involve manually labeling numerous documents to train the model. With UiPath’s advancements, generative AI can pre-label these documents, requiring users to merely rectify inaccuracies. Preliminary evaluations of this feature indicate a significant reduction in custom model development time, from weeks down to days.
Dewar said clients often ask about the rationale behind creating custom models when documents could be forwarded to ChatGPT for information extraction. He explains that the primary reason lies in the efficiency of specialized models.
“Specialized models offer enhanced precision, as they are tailored for specific domains, ensuring speed and cost-effectiveness. For tasks like invoice processing, specialized models achieve near-perfect accuracy at minimal costs. In contrast, deploying ChatGPT would multiply the time, reduce accuracy, and increase expenses,” says Dewar.
Project Wingman and Citizen Development
Designed to revolutionize automation creation, Project “Wingman” from UiPath enables customers to generate sophisticated automations through simple, intuitive natural language commands. By integrating a user-centric approach with Generative AI, Project “Wingman” makes the automation platform more approachable, even for self-described “non-techies.”
“Our foundational principle revolves around user-friendly tool designs and facilitating seamless automation creation for users. Drawing parallels to Microsoft/Github Copilot, our ‘Wingman’ is an AI-powered guide for automation developers. Our Studio Web product can connect to ChatGPT and other generative models. It is designed to inherently comprehend these models and their workflow functionalities. We are meticulously crafting prompts to automatically draft foundational structures for attended automations. This feature already showcases promising results and will soon be a staple in our user experience suite,” said Dewar.
The platform’s technology extends to end users as well, including business analysts focused on process mining. The AI-enhanced experiences are integrated seamlessly into the platform.
While in preview with select clients, Project “Wingman” is already boosting business productivity, employee satisfaction, and customer experiences. As Joe Edwards, Product Marketing Director at UiPath says, “Project ‘Wingman’ promises to revolutionize automation creation by providing a more intuitive interface for both citizen and professional developers, alike. We use our own tools at UiPath, and it has made it 50% faster for me to build automations.”
Project “Wingman” enables customers to build automations that extend beyond a single vendor ecosystem, creating end-to-end automated workflows that connect disparate business applications.
The UiPath Business Automation Platform features enterprise-grade capabilities that majority of the Fortune 500 uses to automate their daily tasks. These products include:
Studio family: UiPath Studio Web is the easiest way to automate online applications and services, while the desktop iterations (UiPath Studio and StudioX) automate common enterprise applications from providers such as SAP, Microsoft, and Google. Through industry-leading computer vision capabilities, UiPath Studio users can design automations to interact with computer screens just as humans do.
Automation Hub: UiPath’s Automation Hub allows companies to crowdsource automation ideas, track the automation lifecycle, and empower employees to be recognized for their automation efforts.
Assistant: Users can utilize the Assistant to interact with their automations and discover automations from UiPath’s community through the “app store for automations,” UiPath Marketplace. Common automations include simplifying complex copying/pasting workflows, organizing documents, and unifying data from disparate sources and applications. By adopting AI-powered automation, enterprises can realize monumental advancements in their operational workflows, providing unprecedented value to stakeholders.
What it means for SAPinsiders
Regarding Generative AI, business leaders cannot afford to be passive. It is vital to acknowledge a core point: while large language models (LLMs) like GPT 4 have captured our collective imaginations, enterprise adoption and execution is another matter. UiPath consistently leads the charge in AI-powered automation. Embracing the promise of Generative AI, UiPath built on its history of AI innovations in computer vision and document understanding, rolling out several integrations to extend the power of LLMs by connecting them to an automation engine. This means that UiPath users can tie the brainstorming prowess that LLMs provide with the enterprise actions that create business value.
Enhance process and task improvements: Businesses can uncover areas for process enhancements and tasks that offer the highest return on automation investments. By attaining full transparency into all processes, tasks, and service interactions, they can strategically deploy automation to boost operational efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction. This approach allows businesses to comprehensively grasp their internal procedures, chart human workflows, track all business conversations, and centrally collate automation suggestions and process betterments, ranking them based on impact and ROI.
Seamlessly automate systems and processes: Businesses can seamlessly automate any system or process, regardless of age or complexity, shifting mundane tasks from humans to digital systems. The UiPath Business Automation Platform equips a digital workforce to collaborate effortlessly with human teams, streamlining work via UI and API, and is enhanced by embedded AI. With user-friendly low-code tools, businesses can swiftly develop apps and automations, bridging RPA and API integrations for optimal velocity and scalability. The platform is adept at transforming paperwork into efficient digital tasks and facilitates the easy, secure integration of AI and ML into automations. It offers diverse robotic solutions, from instant SaaS robots to those designed for everyday tasks alongside humans, fostering intelligent decisions and enhanced synergy between human and digital workers.
Lower cost, time, and risk: Businesses can utilize and enhance their automation program through a centralized integrated platform, ensuring compliance, quality, and security across departments and individuals. This platform provides essential operational and business insights, while allowing for continuous testing and monitoring of automations and their dependent applications. Notably, this is the only platform with built-in testing capabilities. Central governance ensures cost-effective management, and the cloud-native platform can be deployed as SaaS or self-hosted, offering ultimate flexibility.