Automate Handwriting Recognition to Maximize Productivity
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Even in today’s digital-first workplace, documents filled out by hand are often part of everyday work, especially in industries like healthcare, public administration, tax and accounting, insurance, banking, and logistics.
In the past, the digitization of this data involved considerable time and manual effort because automation technologies couldn’t handle the wide variability of handwritten text.
Handwriting Recognition: One Part of the Puzzle
With recent advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of handwriting recognition (HWR) technologies to understand written text—not just in constrained block capitals but also free form cursive writing in many languages—has evolved rapidly and become available from leading cloud-based AI companies.
These providers have the resources and comprehensive volumes of data available to not only effectively train the AI engine, but to allow it to improve over time through a process called machine learning (ML).
However, understanding written words is only the first piece of the solution. An application is required to extract the information and enable it to be validated via rules or, where necessary, human review. It must be easy to implement, configure, and use. And in today’s work-from-anywhere world, it must also enable secure access from any location.
But what’s the main thing to keep your eye on when choosing a solution? Flexibility.
The True Flex Is Flexibility
This may seem obvious, but it’s actually a bit counterintuitive. Some solutions for intelligent document processing (IDP) have proprietary handwriting recognition built-in, so you might be tempted to apply the “more features = better value” logic. But if you make that choice, you’re stuck using that specific engine for all your HWR needs, like using only a spoon for all your meals. So, here are two recommendations for your HWR search depending on your role:
- For end users: look for the ability to select the specific AI engine to use for data extraction based on the document type being processed. Using specialized engines on a per-document basis, or even a per-field basis, can significantly improve overall read rates and accuracy confidence levels when processing different document types in a single work stream.
- For intelligent document processing (IDP) solution providers: look for handwriting recognition software that is flexible enough to handle organizations with different infrastructure priorities. Some companies will prioritize ease of setup, total cost of ownership, and consistent software improvements usually offered by cloud-based engines (via machine learning at scale). On the other hand, companies in more regulated industries, with strict data protections and privacy laws, may require that documents and their content stay on-premises and will therefore look for HWR solutions that meet this need without compromising quality.
A Solution That Satisfies All Requirements
Most software vendors with handwriting recognition solutions meet some of the above needs, but Kodak Alaris provides one of the only solutions that meets them all. Kodak Info Input Solution is intelligent document processing software that automates the trip from document to process quickly, accurately, and reliably.
The award-winning browser-based IDP software inputs documents of any complexity from any source—email attachment, scanned paper, or mobile upload—and automatically transforms them into information that can be validated and integrated directly into downstream systems and RPA tools. The intuitive, customizable user interface with no-code configuration requires minimal training and delivers surprisingly short time-to-value.
Kodak Info Input integrates with the latest and most advanced handwriting recognition technologies, whether they run in the cloud (Google Vision, Microsoft Azure Computer Vision AI, Amazon Textract OCR, ABBYY Vantage) or on-premises (Microsoft Azure Computer Vision AI, ABBYY Vantage). In other words, as these technologies improve, so does Info Input’s HWR capabilities, automatically.
You might think a solution with these capabilities would be extremely expensive, but that’s not the case. You can integrate Kodak Info Input Solution with a modest investment and operate it with low running costs. Hello, fast ROI.
Significantly Increased Productivity & Data Accuracy
Pairing Info Input with AI-based HWR significantly reduces processing times. Info Input automatically detects handwritten documents and then classifies, extracts, validates, and delivers both the data and an enhanced version of the document directly into your business processes. If a document’s handwriting is not clearly recognizable and the data doesn’t exceed the confidence threshold, it is flagged and automatically sent for manual validation before progressing to the next step. This is the only human intervention required, which is why errors are almost non-existent. For many forms, some Info Input customers are seeing a remarkable recognition rate of 98%.