Wolfleben's Perspective on AI/Automation from the Q&A Side

Introduction - Who am I

I am Wolfleben here, also known to some as Waffle Ben or the Waffle Prophet. Tech enthusiast and tinker. I am not as active on the forum due to mainly spending the majority of my free time writing a book. My main operation system is Tumbleweed but I believe people should just use what works for them. For me, that's Tumbleweed.

Qualifications on Speaking about AI/Automation

The Main Part of my job is to serve as the only Quality and Assurance for the proprietary software Automation for the company I work for. I've been doing that for over 3 years now.

How did I end up doing this with no IT Job Background

I have a bit of an interesting reputation at my company. I'm known for being extremely tech savy and that I can talk shop with both the companies IT Department & Software Dev people. Also known for a high level of attention of detail. I also would let our IT Department know about Catastrophic Level High Issues that would affect the company as the whole. Such as needing to transition the company from Windows XP to Windows 10 because XP wasn't going to be supported in about 1 year from when Microsoft was going to drop support. I helped the IT Department with transitioning 500 computers from XP to Windows 10. That was a good bit of fun.

When I was approached to do the Q& A for the Automation, it had been going for a year at that time and was at an 85% efficiency. The Software Dev already knew me and asked if I would do this. I agreed to do it because I felt it would be great opportunity for me to see how Automation worked, help the company I work for, and get paid more. In the course of 3 months, I got it to 99.9% efficiency and it has stayed there. Have to always remember there will always be the potential for .1 failure somewhere.

What does Q and A do for Automation?

You've got to have someone watching the results on the automation to report on issues and provide solutions. That's what I do. The automation does do the job but it has to be documented on how it does the job. Documentation is the life and blood of all things tech.

I provided detail reports on our automation for each job it does. From where I see issues. To provide solutions by showing a step by step process by screenshots. I also serve as a bridge between the company and the software dev team. IE: I can speak to each side and translate things, so that both are on the same page.

Other Automation and Software Q&A

My company approached me to see if I could provide the same level of Q&A for a new Automation that will be rolled out. It is a pretty neat thing, it takes a document and puts it in a third parties system. This is really new thing for the company and it is pretty rough... it made some mistakes but these are all tests so it should be in good shape when we roll it out.

My company is also going to replace some software we are using with something else, it’s a year or two from when it can be tested but the company let me know I have first dips for testing it.

What does Automation do?

It depends on what it is programmed to do. The Automation system for my company scraps data from various sources and puts into our company's system so people can do the task for the data.

I have my own personal home automation set up to feed me news on things that interest me: Anime, Films, Television, Video Games, Rally Racing, Automotive, Technology, Law, and the US Woman’s Soccer Team.

Automation can do a lot of tasks from simple to complex.

Automation Struggles wit Nuance at First

One thing I've observed with automation is how it fails to factor for nuance in it's initial inception. Now nuance can be programmed for but you have to have someone like a Q&A tell the automation Devs, "Hey this set of data has two factors two consider, not one." It takes time to fine tune for each set of nuance but over time, the automation will be able to handle each nuance.

Will Automation Take Jobs?

I can see how Automation might replace some basic entry level jobs. I also see at my own company how Automation has allowed for people to spend more time focusing on higher level tasks instead of the tedious basic stuff.


Overall, I think automation is pretty neat. Even though I just do Q&A on it, I always find something interesting or neat on seeing how it performs. I can see the potential that it can have in various things. if you happen to be a programmer for Automation, I have a deep respect for the work you do.

Open Questions

Has Automation had an impact on your own Job? If so how? If you're a dev for Automation, what is a typical day like for you?

Welcome back!

You mention automation many times here, but not really AI despite the title. Curious to what extent you’re dealing with AI. Testing and QA for AI can be different compared to automating something that is strictly and finitely logical.

I automate many things, although mostly outside of my day job. As you’ve indicated, testing and QA are as critical as the actual coding.


It is a little similar to what I do for the q&a I do for automation. Except that I observe how the AI is actually working and behaving in real time, I have a monitor when I am at work/working remote dedicated to just watching it. I do find it interesting to see it work in real time and if I see the AI stalls/has an issue, I can give a detailed report right then, which allows allows for the dev team to goes in and fixes it. The AI will also send out reports once it finishes a tasks to both me and the dev team.


I have worked with BPM (Business Process Modeling) and BPMn (Business Process Modeling notation) and I have automated parts of businesses.

Like you mentioned, in most cases, the automation that I have implemented took over the mundane stuff so that people could focus on higher level tasks and/or focus on new parts of the business. My experience is mostly with Pharmacies as I worked for a Pharmacy Software company. As the person doing the automation, I basically became the manager of the systems and when things did not work (user error or bad requirements documentation) I had to perform the surgery on the live system.

Lots of checking and baby sitting to see if things are working and what the customer is throwing at the individual processes. I dealt with reading documents and figuring out what is missing and passing it along to the proper queue or reaching out to the Doctor with a fax, email, or automated phone call. Otherwise, process the paperwork and reach into the pharmacy information systems to fill requests or queue up work for the people in the pharmacies.

Once things are squared away, I would setup alerts so that when things were not going correctly or a new document time was sent to the automation, it would halt and call me and the pharmacy’s head pharmacist.

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Seems legit!