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  • Writer's pictureMiguel Angel Fernandez

RPA: ethics and transparency for the future of automation

Automation is seen by many people as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it brings a lot of advantages for users and companies. On the other hand, it also means a lot of uncertainty for some workers who could be "replaced" by digital workers.

This whole automation revolution requires clear rules and principles. The goal? To achieve changes based on ethics and transparency. In this way, technology should not be a problem for workers, but a tool to make them better off.

In any case, you can rest assured: the machines will not rebel against us! However, they may indeed start doing jobs that some people are currently doing. So how can you deal with these changes without becoming distressed? Here we tell you.

The importance of clear rules in automation

We believe in clear rules. While it is impossible to establish what the future of automation will look like, the present is showing us some indications of the changes to come. Practically, RPA is enabling a range of resources that can be used in different industries.

Let's take the case of a profession that handles a large amount of data constantly: accountants. Probably, a person who studied accounting 40 years ago found that the knowledge of his career became obsolete after a short time.

For example, they probably did the accounts of a company or an individual using a physical calculator. Once the Internet became popular, they had to make the first adaptation: learning to use Excel databases, including different formulas used to measure customer accounting.

In this way, technology appears as a resource to make your job easier, right? Well, a second change is also emerging that, from this perspective, could pose big problems for this type of worker: the RPA.

The RPA may give rise to doubts among workers

The RPA can analyze a large amount of data in infinitely less time than the counter. At the same time, it can perform calculations and formulas in a very short time. Moreover, since it is automated, the work is greatly facilitated. So why would accountants still exist? If, after all, digital workers could do their job.

The truth is that this will not necessarily be 100% true. This pessimistic perspective is based on the fact that an RPA is handled automatically throughout its data interpretation process. However, there must always be a person in charge of making efficient decisions.

What does this mean? Simple: just as in the past the advent of the Internet (and Excel calculations) did not take work away from accountants, but rather streamlined it, so did RPAs. For example, an accountant would no longer have to manually fill in the details of an invoice. Thanks to RPA, he would only have to check that all the final information is correct.

Ethics and transparency of digital workers

Moreover, this decision will also empower end customers. If the invoice data can be extracted simply, the user can have an AI-based invoice model without having to rely on a third party. This is in theory, but in practice, the professional view of a specialist is always needed.

It should be noted that this will entail a very long adaptation period for professionals. At the same time, an ethical framework will have to emerge to define the role of AI. This situation will not only affect the future of work. If you think about this situation, it will also affect the very privacy involved in handling big data.

For example, there is data related to individuals: finances, medical history, interests when buying, among others. These systems must therefore be transparent. All end-users should always be informed about the use of their data. At the same time, there is a very important issue to consider. If all processes are automated, the human factor related to certain critical decisions may be lost. Let's take a specific case: the subsidy for a drug that is very important for the health of a person who cannot afford to pay the full price.

If users are required to fill out a form explaining their situation, it is essential that the RPA not be responsible for making the final decision. In other words, it should only function as a filter to see who is likely to acquire this right. However, each case should be analyzed on a case-by-case basis and that is where professionals should make the final decision.

Have you thought about the human factor in automated decisions?

We humans are the ones who program the AIs. Technology allows the automation of certain processes, but that does not mean that we should forget the human factor in decision-making. Otherwise, everything would become a bureaucratic procedure, decided based on certain immovable variables.

If the ethical principles of human decisions are not considered, end-users will lose a great deal of power. For example, a person who does not qualify for access to a medical product will have no arguments to complain. In other words, if the RPA establishes hard filters, any argument on the part of the user could be invalid.

In short, we are living through an essential change. It is no longer just about replacing the workforce, but also human intelligence. Technology can be a great ally, both for companies, workers, and users. However, this moment demands that we act ethically.

We must never forget that AI seems to work perfectly, but that perfection is what can cause problems in some cases. The human factor, even with its mistakes, will allow all decisions to be made transparently and with a strong code of ethics that we at Beecker claim.

We hope this information has been helpful! If you want to learn more about RPA, we invite you to read more articles on our blog.

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