Mindless paperwork falls victim to LG’s robot revolution

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Mindless paperwork falls victim to LG’s robot revolution

LG Electronics plans to use robots and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate more than 200 office tasks.

The local electronics giant has started using a piece of technology called Robotic Process Automation - essentially a robot, but in software form - to take over some of the tasks done inside the office. So far, the system has taken over for humans in 120 different tasks in fields including sales, marketing, accounting and human resources. LG plans to expand this number with 100 more tasks by the end of this year, the company announced Wednesday.

“The amount of work done by the robot software is equivalent to 3,000 hours of human labor per month,” said LG in a statement. “Our staff can reduce the time consumed for searching data and rearranging them, and can focus on more worthy tasks like analyzing and solving problems.”

The robot software is designed to replace human labor in tasks that are repetitive and follow a set of fixed procedures, but nonetheless had to be done manually. They were mainly jobs like downloading data from an internal database and manually inputting that information into a report format that could be sent on for approval.

For example, the software can combine revenue reports from different foreign offices, convert them by respective exchange rates and compile them into one report file that is then automatically sent to a human employee via email.

Artificial intelligence is also doing its bit to make work a bit easier at LG. Earlier this year, the company succeeded in developing a monitoring system that can predict which corporate clients are likely to fail in paying back bonds.

LG often receives bonds instead of cash for supplying products, and the artificial-intelligence system is able to notice in advance if there are any bonds that the company could later struggle to convert to cash.

LG Electronics’ employees also have access to an AI-based Chatbot, dubbed LGenie, to answer questions about the company’s internal policies or help reserve meeting rooms.

“Artificial intelligence and robot technology not only contribute to establishing a smart work culture to focus on valuable tasks, but also in realizing a work and life balance for our staff,” said Kang Seung-won, LG Electronics’ senior executive in charge of information strategy.

BY SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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