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The role of compliance in governing the robotic workforce

Deana Rhoades ( is Principal, Automation, Health Plan Innovation and Consulting at NTT DATA Services in Plano, TX. John Wells ( is a Medicare Compliance Executive in Baltimore. Sherrie Ryder, JD CHC ( is Compliance Senior Advisor at NTT DATA Services in Phoenix.

File this one under hard to believe but true: By 2020, the average person will have moreconversations with botsthan their spouse.[1] By 2021, more than 50% of enterprises will spend more annually on botsand chatbot creation than traditional mobile app development.[2] There are even more predictions about workforce automation, such as a complete machine takeover by artificial intelligence (AI) and a robotic workforce in the banking industry. By 2025, it is predicted that a virtual workforce will displace 110 million full-time banking workers around the world.[3]

We often hear the word “disruption” used to describe the automation of the human workforce. These predictions―and the evidence of automation in business today―indicate this is no longer a buzzword; disruption is happening right now. Industries such as banking, finance, and retail (think Amazon) are far ahead of the game. Historically, healthcare as an industry has been slow to adopt new technology, even when the technology can help improve workflow and patient care, and the same can be said for robotic process automation (RPA) and AI tools.

RPA and AI are often confused, but they’re not the same. RPA is automation of human activities performed by robots. AI simulates the intelligence of humans; it’s machine learning, working to perceive its environment and analyze the correct steps it needs to achieve goals. In its simplest terms, think of RPA as doing and AI as thinking. Although both types of technology are important, RPA is more widely used and somewhat easier to implement, because RPA is process-driven data (i.e., the same actions are taken repeatedly and with the same outcome). With RPA, companies are realizing greater productivity, more consistency as routine tasks are done the same way every time, and better accuracy, among other benefits.