In this week’s roundup, we dig into the differences and synergies among robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). We look at how the novel coronavirus is affecting nonprofit fundraising as well as how AI is empowering biotech and COVID-19 research. Lastly, we explore how AI helps companies improve data security while employees work remotely. 

Automating and Educating Business Processes with RPA, AI, and ML

by Mary E. Shacklett, contributing writer to

Robotic Process Automation is at the forefront of companies’ decisions about how and when to automate tasks with artificial intelligence and machine learning. This author explains how these three technologies work together. RPA automates repetitive tasks previously performed by humans, AI analyzes large datasets to enable stakeholders to make smarter decisions, and machine learning augments AI by allowing it to continuously adapt to new patterns in the data. Deeply understanding these technologies will benefit leaders as they make the important decisions of how to implement them. 


How Nonprofits Can Boost Development in the Coming Months

by Jordan Ault, contributing writer for

As the coronavirus crisis unfolded, nonprofit leaders understandably worried that giving would slow due to personal financial concerns. Yet, new research is showing that nonprofit organizations might have less to be concerned about than they thought. A recent study of 1,800 people in the U.S. showed that 25% expect their donations to increase this year because they are willing to respond to the greater need. In contrast, only 9% expected to give less. However, it’s not all good news as 47% report they will volunteer less for their own and community health and safety. 


AI-Powered Biotech Can Help Deploy a Vaccine in Record Time

by Ray Kurzweil, contributing writer for

Some leaders caution that a COVID-19 vaccine could be years out, while others are providing shorter timelines such as 12–18 months. This article suggests that the only way the latter timeline for an effective vaccine could be met is with AI-powered medical technologies—effectively quickly analyzing large amounts of data to identify the treatments that are most likely to have positive effects. How researchers use AI to help solve the novel coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly set the stage for AI use in finding therapies for other diseases and across all areas of medicine.


Artificial Intelligence Systems Aim to Sniff Out Signs of COVID-19 Outbreaks

by Adrian Cho, as published in

The first notice of the novel coronavirus emerging in Wuhan, China, is credited to an AI-powered computer at Boston Children’s Hospital. Using AI to detect and analyze diseases is not necessarily new since scientists have been using computers to forecast the severity of the annual flu season and many other diseases for years. But now COVID-19 is shining a light on the possibilities of AI helping to solve world health problems. And just as tracking, predicting, and containing the flu has better prepared AI and scientists to help tackle COVID-19, the current pandemic will enable AI to do an even better job during the next health crisis.  


Adapting Cloud Security and Data Management Under Quarantine

by Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, contributing writer for

Over the past few months, many workers were sent home to work, flooding online tools with users—and security concerns. Although large companies have no desire to suffer from catastrophic data breaches such as the ones that hit Capital One, Equifax, and others over the past few years, many were not prepared in how such a large shift in the way we work would affect their data-protection strategies. Now, IT leaders are swiftly adopting AI and cloud security to identify data risks and breaches at a much faster rate and with greater accuracy. 



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