Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can IBM automate decisions? Sure, it's already happening.

News post: Algorithms everywhere: Can IBM automate business decisions?

see “Smart (Enough) Systems” by James Taylor.

This is not about automating decisions made by people, it is about automating decisions that don’t need people. Dig deeper, and this is about Business Rules. In situations where all responses to a question can be defined depending on data about the situation, having people pick an answer is a waste. Biggest example? Credit Checks and your Credit Score, and ‘deciding’ to approve a request for credit. This is being done thousands/millions/whatever times per hour/day, and there not enough people available to do this.

Why do you think IBM bought iLog? Advanced companies already do this. Insurance underwriting is another big domain.

And this is never going to be about Artificial Intelligence. Smarter systems are made of the same stuff as ‘dumb’ systems, they just know more, enough to make a decision based on facts. If the facts aren’t available, the system is not going to ‘think’ or ‘reason’ its way to a decision, its just going to ask for the facts, please.

About Me

Ontario, Canada
I have been an IT Business Analyst for 25 years, so I must have learned something. Also been on a lot of projects, which I have distilled into the book "Cascade": follow the link to the right to see more.