Hybrid Intelligence: to automate or not to automate, that is the question


  • Wil M.P. van der Aalst RWTH Aachen University




Hybrid intelligence, data science, process science, machine learning, business process management


There used to be a clear separation between tasks done by machines and tasks done by people. Applications of machine learning in speech recognition (e.g., Alexa and Siri), image recognition, automated translation, autonomous driving, and medical diagnosis, have blurred the classical divide between human tasks and machine tasks. Although current Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies outperform humans in many areas, tasks requiring common sense, contextual knowledge, creativity, adaptivity, and empathy are still best performed by humans. Hybrid Intelligence (HI) blends human intelligence and machine intelligence to combine the best of both worlds. Hence, current and future Business Process Management (BPM) initiatives need to consider HI and the changing boundaries between work done by people and work done by software robots. Consider, for example, the success of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which demonstrates that gradually taking away repetitive tasks from workers is possible. In this viewpoint paper, we argue that process mining is a key technology to decide what to automate and what not. Moreover, using process mining, it is possible to systematically monitor and manage processes where work is distributed over human workers and software robots.




How to Cite

van der Aalst, W. M. . (2021). Hybrid Intelligence: to automate or not to automate, that is the question. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, 9(2), 5–20. https://doi.org/10.12821/ijispm090201