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According to the survey by the management consultants Horváth & Partners , three quarters of companies are already carrying out simple data processing involving robot programs. In the view of the decision-makers surveyed, “cognitive automation” and “digital assistants” will become established in the next one to two years. Cognitive automation is the term used for software in the area of machine learning which can detect patterns even in unstructured, smaller data volumes and can then process them. Digital assistants are used to communicate with people. By contrast, “autonomous agents” are still some way down the line: here software systems solve complex tasks and make independent decisions, in the case of driverless vehicles for example.

The wave of automation will have serious consequences for the world of work, according to the study. The large potential for job savings will meet with resistance from employees, the respondents believe. The majority of managers thus see the lack of acceptance by employees as the biggest challenge when it comes to automation. However, the decision-makers intend to stick to their plans to push forward with process automation.

Service providers have been gearing up for this problem for some time and offer solutions that prepare employees for the deployment of robots. Examples of this are provided by Weissenberg Solutions, for instance. The consultancy company recommends, among other things, open communication between the management and employees, integration of employees in the process selection and a training course to overcome their reluctance to work with the machines.