History of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is computer software that automatically performs repetitive tasks. With this feature, it provides businesses with money, time and customer satisfaction and increases productivity. Regardless of income and size, all businesses prefer RPA systems for digital transformation.

Automation technologies, including RPA technology, could have a financial impact of about $6.7 trillion by 2025 according to a study by renowned management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. It is also reported that companies adopting this technology will have the potential to get an investment of between 30% and 200% in the first year. So, what was the process of RPA technology from past to present?

The Technology That Triggered RPA: Machine Learning

One of the most important technologies for the development of RPA technology is ‘machine learning’. Machine learning was first invented in 1959 by Arthur Samuel, one of the leading figures in the field of artificial intelligence. Machine learning started as a scientific effort aimed at creating AI.

Discoveries on machine learning technology allowed computers to perform many useful actions. People have tried performing processes on texts by using machine learning algorithms. Natural language processing (NLP) technology emerged as a result of these trials. Beginning in the 1960s, this branch of science combined AI with interactions between computers and human languages. This combination created a major step forward in the creation of RPA technology.

RPA history ai machine learning

Another technology that makes RPA systems efficient is “computer vision” technology. Interest in computer vision technology arose in the late 1960s. Although the expected progress did not materialize for about 30 years, it reached the boom point in 1989 with LeNet model proposed by Yann André LeCun. This model enabled RPA systems to extract information from documents such as Image and PDF.

Steps Towards RPA Technology

As we approach the times in which RPA technology was developed, we can also see the discovery of technologies used in the formation of RPA. First of all; screen scraping software in the 1990s was one of the first steps in the creation of RPA. This technology was used to extract data from programs, websites and documents for which RPA was used heavily. Workflow automation tools, the technology most similar to RPA, were also introduced in the 1990s. All of these technologies contributed to the development of RPA.

Thanks to these developments, the first RPA software was developed in the early 2000s. Although this RPA system was very successful in automating repetitive tasks, its capabilities were rather limited. Therefore, its existence was not well-known until 2015. With the discovery of RPA combined with AI technologies, RPA technology has reached a booming point in the last 3-4 years. Researches show that RPA technology will be the most preferred automation technology of 2021. Today, many companies, regardless of size, use RPA technologies. They spend the efficiency they get from RPA technology on business development. If you also want to benefit from the advantages of RPA software and get more information, you can contact us here.