What is Intelligent Test Automation & Where Is It Heading?

Anna Thorsen

Automation Expert

Organizations want to automate faster, and with higher quality and agility. But this calls for a smarter, intelligent approach to testing and test automation.

After all, 63% of QA professionals believe that QA testing should become a smarter automated process. 

In this post, we’ll explain what intelligent test automation is, where it’s heading, and the existing “smart” approaches to test automation.

What is intelligent test automation?

Intelligent test automation (ITA) is the inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in test automation. 

ITA requires a model-based approach to testing. With model-based testing, you define your application using functional or business terms. An AI model looks at these components and tests them automatically.  

In this case, you would not specify what the test is. Instead, you show the AI model the components, and the AI will create and perform the tests. 

While ITA still has a long way to mature, there are practical uses within the maintenance and development of test automation. 

Intelligent test automation: what’s happening now  

From a software and testing perspective, practical applications of AI in the testing profession are already being experimented with. 

However, the applicability of AI in test automation is rather limited – it’s in the initial stages of development.

Self-healing tests 

Self-healing tests are essentially a self-healing mechanism in automation. While tests aren’t able to resolve themselves or suggest a change to test automation, there are tools that can show you exactly where a test failed. Leapwork is one example. 


Image: An example of Leapwork’s hyper visual debugging in action. This test shows you an activity log of where a test passed and failed. 

Related reading: What is the Difference Between AI and Automation?

Voice-assisted tests 

It’s debated whether voice-assisted tests will pick up or are even possible. It’s a relatively new area within automation.

The software is similar to a voice assistant in that you speak to the testing engine. This is then translated into steps to test the application. 

An example is logging into Salesforce. It will start the process of opening a browser, navigating to Salesforce, and opening a program that will log you into Salesforce with the relevant user information.  

However, it is still somewhat limited in terms of what benefits it can bring to an enterprise. This is because: 

  • It is not easy to define a test case in simple words 
  • It requires fine tuning – for example – when logging in with your username and password, it would require login information, and you would need to set five or ten different properties for this test to run properly. 
  • It requires time for a human to pass on information to the engine to perform an activity like logging into Salesforce.  
  • It is only applicable to narrow and simple test cases. When you have complex test cases that contain hundreds of elements, it will not be possible to create these tests in a meaningful way.  

Scriptless test automation

While true ITA is still a long game, there are exciting developments that businesses are taking advantage of today. 

The way we build automation is changing  – people don’t need scripting skills to automate. 

As a result, the way we test is changing too – there’s less of a need for technical experts, and that opens test automation up to business users. 

“With AI - and with NLP too - people who don’t have scripting skills can take part in the test automation 'game'” - Capgemini World Quality Report, 2021/22

With a scriptless approach to test automation – the way we develop and maintain our automation becomes smarter. This reduces our software development life cycles. And it helps us get to market faster.

Visual Language-Test Automation-Dynamics365

Image: A visual showing Leapwork, a scriptless test automation tool. This image shows Leapwork's smart recorder automating a Dynamics login. The steps recorded are then transformed into building blocks - for an easy to build and maintain test case. 

If you want to learn more about the potential of codeless test automation and see an example of it in action, join our no-code webinar

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