Technology in the New Decade – Cognitive Technology

The manual processes and paper documents that we’ve grown to know and love (?)—or at least have grown comfortable with (!)—must change; the old ways will no longer suffice. We are on the cusp of a dramatic inflection point in both the volume and variety of information that must be managed—creating new records management challenges—and in the technologies that can potentially be used to automate this process—creating new records management opportunities. These technologies include:

  1. The Internet of Things
    the billions of physical connected devices that are now collecting
    and sharing data,

  2. Robotic Process Automation
    allowing software “bots” to automate manual processes,

  3. Machine Learning
    algorithms that use experiences to autonomously improve decisions,

  4. Artificial Intelligence
    teaching machines to learn and solve problems.

Toward the latter part of 2020, NARA’s new white paper on Cognitive Technologies—Records Management Implications for Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence raised the bar on the importance of understanding these technologies and including them in agency information management strategies. The report concludes that cognitive technologies “may impact existing policies and agency standards, such as ensuring records management controls requirements for electronic information systems, and ensuring they adequately maintain the authenticity and integrity of records.”