Where do you see exploratory testing within a fully automated pipeline?

As the title suggests, we’re now seeing CI/CD pipelines becoming increasingly automated from development to production. From a testing perspective, the 2 prongs of automated and exploratory testing are important. However, exploratory is human-driven and so, obviously, isn’t as fast as automated testing. It doesn’t seem to fit into a continuous pipeline.

I’ve read material on DevOps and the continuous testing aspects that I think are sensible. Again, DevOps talks about the importance of exploratory testing. But, within fully automated pipelines, where can it fit?

Does it fit only at the production stage with feature flags/canary testing etc.? Or is there another strategy to keep exploratory testing in place?

Maybe the tester (who may have been involved with session based test management in a traditional agile landscape) isn’t so involved with exploratory testing anymore. Maybe it’s the customer data with the sorts of monitoring present in DevOps that represents exploratory testing?

Would be interested in your thoughts.