by James Taylor
CEO, Decision Management Solutions
In a previous blog, we introduced you to the Mayflower 400 autonomous ship, the first autonomous seafaring vessel in the world, developed by ProMare in partnership with IBM and other organizations. One of the big takeaways from the Mayflower project that can be applied to business is the essential role of business rules in any artificial intelligence (AI)-driven decision-making project.
In the case of the Mayflower, one of the keys to operating safely in its environment is following the COLREGs, or the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, which were formulated by the International Maritime Organization to prevent seagoing vessels from crashing into one another. These rules enable the onboard AI Captain to avoid potentially disastrous collisions and other situations. That’s how important these rules are.
To ensure the vessel is following COLREGs, as well as recommendations from the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the “AI Captain” draws on IBM’s Operational Decision Manager (ODM), its business rules management system (BRMS). By relying on IBM ODM, sailors manage the rules that guide the AI Captain. IBM ODM also provides a transparent record of its decision-making process, and this capability builds trust with other ocean users and fosters continuous improvement.
So what does this have to do with improving business decision-making? Everything. You might think of COLREGs as the industry regulations you need to comply with. And SOLAS is much like the policies and procedures that guide and support business decisions at your organization. Just as it’s absolutely critical for the AI Captain on the Mayflower to accurately implement regulations and best practices (and create a transparent record of how it makes its decision), so is maintaining compliance and upholding internal policies at your organization. The AI Captain implements these regulations and policies as business rules in a business rules management system like IBM ODM, and so should you.
And just like the Mayflower uses AI-driven insights about surrounding vessels, shorelines, weather, and ocean conditions to make the right decisions, you can integrate predictions about your business environment and other advanced analytic algorithms into your decision-making. You can use a decision model to visually express how these different elements work together to ensure your AI Captain can successfully navigate your business environment.
Use ODM to automate decisions that are guided by policies, regulations and best practices as well as informed by machine learning and AI algorithms and you’ll be better equipped to dodge a shipwreck in your AI decision-making project.
Learn more by downloading the white paper, “Give Your Business Its Own AI Captain.”