Automation VS Artificial Intelligence – what’s the difference?

The terms automation and artificial intelligence are often linked to each other. Although the terms complement one another there is a fine line in between. In this article, we will try to differentiate between the two terms. Where the difference lies? And could they be used interchangeably? So let’s dive into automation VS artificial intelligence.


Let’s start with automation. Concept mankind is trying to achieve from very early times. The idea is to free man from monotonous work or in other words, take the robot out of him. Any computer programmed to perform the same task repeatedly through pre-defined code is automated. Mechanical labor, control systems based on sensor readings, operating systems are all examples of automation. Automation is ‘dumb’ intelligence, performing tasks that do not require human’s continuous attention. They free us to accomplish more creative work. Those that require intelligence and cannot be left on a pre-programmed software. Automatic generation of a billing receipt, mechanical arms in workshops, backing up your database once a month is all automation.

Artificial Intelligence:

Taking automation to a higher level where it starts showing signs of ‘smart intelligence’ is where artificial intelligence comes to play. AI happens when these manually configured machines are given the power of data. The result is intelligent machines. Yes, artificial intelligence works to build machines accomplishing tasks like a human would do. It observes data like a human, conclude from this data like a human, gives responses based on past experiences like a human, and ⁰improves its accuracy as it goes through more and more data just like a human improves his behavior with experiences. AI aims to achieve this behavior. Machines performing tasks requiring human critical thinking or even superseding it. Artificial Intelligence is modeled when we automate the system with data. Loads and loads of data. It is not just then the story of mere pre-defined rules and software running some lines of codes to complete tasks. System evolves. Now it has something to learn from, gain experience form, model its conclusion on, and output results for problems that would otherwise require human thinking. Artificial Intelligence simulates human thinking.

automation VS artificial intelligence.

Automation and AI Today:

Automation is everywhere. Businesses have embraced automation with open arms. Obviously, a robotic worker, who works without breaks, never asks for vacation leave, or never falls sick is a desirable employee for everyone. In other words, it is about building a machine to follow your orders. You accomplish this by manual configurations, few lines of codes, workflows, and in this way you have an automated business.

Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, is still in the phase of acceptance and understanding. Although widely in use there is a wide majority who do not understand clearly what this mystic force is. The opinion also starts to differ when we discuss the future of AI. There is one though that AI machines are going to take us over and will do tasks much better than us. Elon Musk, Tesla’s owner, presents similar views as “Robots and AI will be able to do everything better than us, creating the biggest risk that we face as a civilization”. In contrast to this, we have opinions that state that AI is simply engineering to mimic the human mind. It is directed towards building machines thinking just like humans and that too without human-like weakness, death for instance!

Right now what we are trying to achieve is Cognitive automation. We have not yet accomplished complete AI but we are surely on its way. The ideal approach adopted by us is of two systems, automation, and artificial intelligence, complementing each other. The automated system collects the huge amounts of data and the Artificial Intelligent system understands this data.

By continuing on this way of making automated systems and feeding them with massive data, we can surely gain the true realms of artificial intelligence as an individual, a business, and species.


In this article, we tried to clear the dust surrounding the two terms of automation and artificial intelligence to look into the answer to automation VS Artificial Intelligence. To sum it up, a system pre-programmed to follow your orders, saving you from doing repetitive and time-consuming tasks is automation. Whereas, making intelligent machines that start performing functions that require your intellect and thinking is where the birth of artificial intelligence takes place.

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