Supervising Automation: Computers still need our help

Programmers love to automate everything. The common joke is that a programmer will spend hours automating a task that might only take 10 minutes to do otherwise. I am not attacking automation. In fact, I love everything about it -- I just don't believe it is meant to replace human work. Humans are adapting to do the kind of work that best complements computers: supervision, setting goals, and high-level decision making.

When computers make decisions completely unchecked, bad things can happen. Software with powerful capabilities like access to heavy machinery, large bank accounts, and especially systems with sensitive data should involve humans in critical decisions before initiating an automated workflow.

Many tools exist that help engineers with automation, but there aren't enough tools that help humans supervise automation. This is why we've spent engineering and product time on making the human-interaction part of automation easier.

Our goal is to simplify the integration of human decision and automation workflows.

Directly deliver approval requests

It's important to reduce the friction that humans can sometimes add to decision making and supervision. This is why we've focused on making it easy to deliver approval requests to wherever your users already are.

Slack is perfect for internal workflows. Your Slack channels already represent the structure of your organization and how decisions are made -- now you can supervise automation there as well.

App Push Notifications are how companies communicate with users in real-time. Now users can make decisions on automations right from your app that they already have on their phones.

Email & SMS ensure you can always reach your users, no matter which device they're on.

Humans are compatible with automation

At approveapi.com, we give developers two ways to programmatically interact with human decisions in real-time.

Polling
Any number of clients can continuously poll until a user responds to an approval request, after which control flow is be programmatically handed off to another process or piece of code.
Webhooks
Best for asynchrony, once a user responds to an approval request -- our system triggers an HTTP request to a URL you specify indicating an approval was completed, giving you the ability to decide how to propel the automation forward.

Interested in adding supervision to your automation scripts? Grab your free API key to get started with ApproveAPI.