What is robotic process automation (or RPA)?
Robotic process automation, or RPA, is the term for automating user interface (UI) operations (mouse clicks and inserting text) with image recognition in a typical graphical user environment. Some applications have no exposed API. RPA enables the user to script a series of computer desktop activities to be performed in a scheduled and unattended manner.
RPA is not available for character-based (non-GUI) operating systems such as some distributions of Linux, Unix, and Windows (e.g., Core).
Robotic process automation software is software that enables a human user to create a repeatable sequence of events that involve the usage of graphical user interface applications (through pattern recognition, mouse clicks, and inserted text). RPA programs can perform unattended screen scraping tasks and data entry.
In our opinion RPA software does not necessarily leverage artificial intelligence (or machine learning). RPA could easily be integrated with artificial intelligence. To meet the threshold of robotic process automation, graphical image recognition and UI functions must be present. Such a process would not necessarily be considered artificially intelligent. If you want to learn more, see this page on Deloitte's website.