Nov 2016

The bots take on the offshore army

By: Odyssey Automation
Tags: Bots, offshore, Outsourced labour

There has been a lot of online angst recently at the inability to purchase tickets to various events. Consumer Outrage! Reads one heading, and consumers requesting controls to prevent bots from purchasing tickets before people have the chance. So, it seems bots can move faster than humans in an online area.

Bots aren’t anything new. We’ve all long been aware of bots that can complete 150 share trades in the blink of an eye.

But more recently there has been a planet wide concern that scalper bots are buying huge amounts of tickets as soon as they are released.

So why is this of interest to the accounting world?

If you look back a few years ago, in 2013 there was concern at the purchasing syndicates (an army of cheap labour tasked with snapping tickets in bulk and on-selling them at inflated prices) that were prevalent on the ticket scene.

And that use of cheap manual labour, sometimes outsourced from third-world countries, enables ticket touts to be undetected by anti-bot measures entirely – such as CAPTCHA systems.

However, today the issue isn’t the army of offshore cheap labour, but bots. Over the past 3 years we’ve moved from concerns with offshore labour in the online purchasing area to Online bots.

And the online bots are able to act (compete?) in such a way that they are almost indistinguishable from a real person.

If the bots can destroy the offshore armies through automation, then it can’t be but a few years before compliance is automated.

All of this should give some pause for thought for Australian accountants and bookkeeping rushing to setup offshore outsourcing centres, or even hiring staff offshore.

That money and time might better be spent in automation…