AI + automation: Definitions, differences, and business impact

Khoros Staff

Businesses are undergoing digital transformation to improve internal workflows and the external customer experience — with AI and automation at the core of this transformation.

Despite the growing popularity of these solutions, there remains a lot of confusion about what they are, the value they provide, and the impact they have on business operations.

We’re here to help you break down AI and automation to help you reach a better understanding of how these technologies can impact your brand.

What is AI?

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. It refers to the development of computer systems or machines that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. These tasks may include learning, reasoning, problem-solving, perception, language understanding, and decision-making.

AI techniques enable machines to process and analyze large amounts of data, recognize patterns, and make predictions or take actions based on that analysis. AI can be classified into two categories:

1. Narrow AI, designed for specific tasks and problem-solving

Examples: Voice assistants like Siri or Alexa, image recognition systems, recommendation algorithms, and autonomous vehicles

2. General AI, which applies human-like intelligence across a wide range of tasks in a specific domain — exhibiting flexibility, creativity, and adaptability

Examples: AlphaGo, chatbots, and DeepFake technology

These AI systems are typically trained using machine learning techniques — supervised or reinforcement learning — on large datasets relevant to the specific task.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI, an AI research and deployment company founded in December 2015 to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. OpenAI conducts cutting-edge research, develops AI models and technologies, and promotes responsible and ethical development of artificial intelligence.

ChatGPT is based on the GPT (Generative Pre-trained Transformer) architecture, a state-of-the-art deep learning model for natural language processing tasks. ChatGPT is specifically designed for conversational interactions with users.

The model is pre-trained on a large corpus of text data from the internet, allowing it to learn patterns, grammar, and semantic relationships between words and phrases. It generates coherent and contextually relevant responses to user inputs.

ChatGPT has been fine-tuned using reinforcement learning from human feedback to improve its response quality and make it more useful and safe for users. It can engage in a range of conversational topics, answer questions, provide explanations, offer suggestions, and more.

ChatGPT aims to provide an interactive and conversational experience with an AI-powered system that can understand and generate human-like text.

What is automation?

Automation refers to technology and systems performing tasks or processes with minimal human intervention.

Automation aims to increase efficiency, accuracy, productivity, and reliability while reducing human effort and potential errors.

Automation can be applied to various domains, including manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, finance, and IT. It typically involves using computers, software algorithms, robotics, sensors, and control systems to perform tasks previously done manually.

Different automation levels exist— from basic rule-based to advanced cognitive automation.

  • Rule-based automation follows predefined rules and conditions to execute tasks.

  • Cognitive automation involves using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to perform complex tasks that require decision-making and learning capabilities.

Automation enables businesses to streamline operations, improve quality, reduce costs, and enhance productivity.

AI vs automation

While AI and automation are related, they are distinct concepts. Here are the key differences:

  1. Scope: AI aims to simulate human-like intelligence, while automation aims to replace manual or repetitive tasks with automated systems.

  2. Intelligence vs. task execution: AI is concerned with developing intelligent systems and involves techniques like machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. Automation is focused on task execution and reducing human effort, involving using software, machinery, or robotic systems to perform specific tasks.

  3. Flexibility and adaptability: AI systems are designed to be flexible and adaptable. They can learn from new data, generalize knowledge across domains, and perform a wide range of tasks within their capabilities. Automation, in contrast, follows predefined rules or instructions and may not possess the flexibility to handle tasks outside of its defined scope.

  4. Human interaction: AI systems are designed to interact with humans and understand natural language, context, and intent. They can converse, understand user queries, and provide appropriate responses. On the other hand, automation systems are typically designed to operate in a predefined manner without significant human interaction. They are often task-oriented and follow a set of instructions or rules.

  5. Level of autonomy: AI systems can exhibit varying levels of autonomy, ranging from limited autonomy in narrow AI systems to higher autonomy in more advanced AI systems. These advanced AI systems can make decisions and take actions without explicit human guidance. Automation systems generally operate under predefined rules or instructions and do not possess the ability to make decisions autonomously.

While AI can be a component of automation, automation does not always involve AI.

It is crucial for businesses to stay agile, adapt to changing technologies, and consistently innovate to meet evolving customer expectations, and AI and automation help achieve this.

How AI and automation are changing business operations

By leveraging the Khoros Bot and Khoros Flow, businesses can seamlessly integrate AI and automation into their operations — unlocking the full potential of these powerful technologies and positioning themselves for success in the digital age. Here are five ways Khoros can help you achieve your digital transformation:

1. Automate routing customer inquiries in the contact center

Contact Centers use advanced routing and logic systems to assign interactions to contact center agents. For voice interactions, routing begins with an interactive voice response (IVR) system that helps determine where the call needs to be routed based on an agent’s skills. You can even provide deflection options within the IVR when queue wait times are high, allowing callers to deflect to a digital channel, a bot, or a community knowledge and support center.

With digital and social interactions, conversations are automatically tagged, categorized, and prioritized before being routed into a queue for agent response. Similar to skill-based routing in voice, queues can include skills that match tags, priorities, and more to ensure that the right agent handles the conversations.

2. Assisting agents with suggested responses and relevant knowledge

Supercharge your agent with AI tools. Agent assist provides agents with automated responses, knowledge articles, and step-by-step guides. AI is used to understand the topic or intent of the conversation and present the right assistance to the agent at the right moment — helping teams onboard new agents faster and removing the comprehensive training requirements of the past.

Agent assist guides enable managers to set up step-by-step responses that walk an agent through the correct workflow. With a single click, agents can send the correct answer using the correct brand tone. It also allows managers to provide internal notes and reminders to agents, for example, thanking the customer at the close of the interaction or reminding the agent to collect certain information.

3. Providing automation translation services for social media engagement

Hiring multilingual agents is expensive and difficult to maintain. With an automated translation service, agents can respond in the customers’ language without having fluency in the language themselves. Responses are typed in the agent's language and then translated into the language the customer is using.

4. Generating text and images for social media engagement

Generative AI can remove some intellectual labor to deliver the best possible social media results. A social media manager can quickly know the optimal text and hashtags for better social media engagement. AI can also create and compare images, determining which image will yield the optimal response on social media.

5. AI and automation are changing business operations

AI and automation are changing how social media and customer service teams operate. Processes that were once time-consuming and cumbersome can be removed from employee workloads and improve team productivity. In some cases, AI can offer insights and automated actions to improve KPI results.

We live in a world where insights are readily available, but rarely do they result in actions that can be automated. With the computing power of AI, recommendations can become automated with a speedy click of a button. For example, in the customer service context, an AI system will analyze a conversation and identify a use case or topic that it fits into. It will then recommend a new bot flow or agent assist guide. With a simple click, an admin or manager can implement that new bot or guide, then follow up later to analyze how it’s improving overall productivity and efficiency.

Partner with Khoros for a complete AI and automation solution

By leveraging our professional services, big brands have successfully implemented automation to transform customer service, streamline operations, and drive growth.

Khoros Bot, powered by Khoros Flow, is designed to help brands tap into the full potential of AI and automation. Key features include:

  • Multilingual design: Design your bot in one language and automatically machine-translate it to over 100 languages, ensuring a seamless customer experience regardless of language preference.

  • Channel-specific design: Develop automation for multiple channels simultaneously, adapting to the preferences of your user base while maintaining a consistent experience across platforms.

  • Advanced insights and analytics: Visualize Flow Journeys, access automated KPI reports, and analyze NLP model performance to improve automation and refine business processes continuously.

Digital broadcasting: Proactively engage with customers through personalized service messages, updates, and targeted marketing campaigns.

Would you like to learn more about Khoros?