IDC Report Offers a Pragmatic Framework for Understanding and Applying AI-Based Automation

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International Data Corporation (IDC) has published a framework designed to guide business and IT decision makers faced with planning and investment decisions related to artificial intelligence (AI) for automation. The framework defines the expected levels of human-machine interaction and the hierarchy of automation scope, which can then serve as a basis for assessing data, algorithm, IT, staffing requirements, and potential risks at the intersection of AI capabilities and use cases.

"IDC's AI-based automation evolution framework was developed based on global market research that highlighted two lessons," said Dan Vesset, group vice president, Analytics and Information Management Research at IDC. "First is the need to understand the components of the evolving relationship between humans and machines. Second is to understand the scope of AI-based automation. Once these two dimensions are brought into focus, the planning and investment decisions associated with AI-based automation will be much clearer."

To understand the likely evolution of AI-based automation, IDC evaluated the interaction of humans and machines with a focus on the analysis of inputs, the decisions based on this analysis, and the actions that result from these decisions. The result was the identification of five levels of AI-based automation, ranging from human-led and human-governed to machine-led and machine-governed. However, because it is insufficient to consider only how the roles of humans and machines will change over time, IDC also developed a hierarchy to understand the scope of AI-based automation. The hierarchy is based on a rising scale of automation ranging from a task (the smallest unit of work performed on behalf of an activity) to a system (a set of connected processes).

The result is a pragmatic framework that decision makers across industries can use to assess the opportunities and risks of AI-based automation in the foreseeable future. To illustrate how the framework is applied, the report provides examples of how AI-enabled automation is used in healthcare and IT operations involving different levels of human-machine interaction and automation.

"One of the key takeaways is that individuals and enterprises need to improve their AI literacy by understanding the level at which AI-enabled automation can result in benefits across a hierarchy of tasks, activities, processes, or systems," Vesset added. "A better understanding of AI's potential as well as its limitations will help decision makers to uncover opportunities to apply the best of today's AI solutions to the automation of specific tasks and activities."

To learn more about IDC's AI-based automation evolution framework and why it matters, please see Dan Vesset's recent blog at http://bit.ly/2SQ4ERC.

The IDC report, Artificial Intelligence–Based Automation Evolution Framework (Doc #US44524318), presents IDC's framework for evaluating the evolving nature of the human-machine relationship and the application of artificial intelligence at different levels of automation scope, from tasks and activities to processes and systems.

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC and LinkedIn.

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Business Wire: 13:30 GMT Monday 14th January 2019

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