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The Big Bot Debate

  • Date:Monday, November 18th 2019, 5:15 pm
  • Venue:Eversheds Sutherland, 1 Wood St, London, EC2V 7WS

Event details

The Big Bot Debate

Really excited that the GSA will be closing its Strategic Sourcing Symposium on 18 November with The Big Bot Debate.

The GSA is posing the Motion: the automation industry would evolve faster if we stopped referring to robots.

Potential Fors

  • Robots are not taking over the world – it is just efficiency software and algorithms
  • We should be talking augmented humans – not humans working with robots
  • Virtual workforce, digital workers, robots -  software is none of these things
  • The term robotic is hampering the roll out of automation as it’s not being considered strategic
  • All bots are not born equal, what comprises a “bot” is not consistent between providers so it’s confusing to talk about deployed bots
  • It is insane to be boasting how many bots we have, this is not a measure of value being delivered  
  • The concept of bots is diminishing the credibility of this industry and holding back strategic adoption
  • As the software starts to be augmented with AI, the industry is now creating more terms

Possible Againsts:

  • Naming of software products is often meaningless. Personification helps drive adoption
  • The concept of a robot helping people to be more efficient removes anxiety over job losses from automation
  • Using robots as a unit of capacity allows for easy comparison of costs between human resources and automaton
  • Robots and RPA have become an established industry and term, there is even an IEEE standard for terminology, so there is no reason to change it
  • It really doesn’t matter. What software is called doesn’t impact adoption
  • Everyone loves to hear use cases. Talking about what digital workers are doing for their humans makes this much easier than dull software case studies
  • As AI is infused with robotic automation, it is easy to conceptualize in terms of teaching the robots new skills
  • All these subjects will be fiercely debated to close the Strategic Sourcing Symposium

If you’re keen to join the debate, but cannot join the whole Symposium you can register for just the debate – it is free of charge.


The Global Sourcing Association
The Home of the Global Sourcing Standard