WSJ – AT&T’s 1,000 Software Robots Are Doing Boring, Repetitive Work For Humans

  • company currently has more than 1,000 software robots deployed  up from about 200 in mid-2016
  • bots perform tasks ranging from helping technicians activate equipment for customers to aggregating data for service orders and customer service reports
  • exploring how humans and robots can work together, with the goal of saving time and money and freeing up employees to do more analysis and knowledge-based work
  • Software bots are part of an industry called robotic process automation – perform rules-based tasks – reside on server or cloud – they’re typically not artificially intelligent
  • In 2016, the company launched an online training program to teach employees how to build bots, in a secure manner
    • more than 2,000 employees across 100 different organizations are certified bot-builders
  • In coming years, Mr. Stine said, AT&T will experiment with how artificial intelligence could be integrated into software robots

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