Why Not Just Use IBM Watson or Similar Platforms for Automating Operational Business Decisions?
Caveat: I reserve the right to change my mind on this at any time and would love to be proven wrong.
The key characteristic of many operational business decisions is that they need to be directly traceable to business policy, regulations, contractual obligations, and so on. You need to be able to readily demonstrate compliance in the broadest sense of the word. (That of course has always been true for business rules. That’s what they do!) So for that reason and others, I doubt that IBM Watson and peers will prove viable platforms for execution-time support of business rules.
The engineering of rules themselves – rule engineering – will remain professional work for humans to do (hopefully assisted by machines). Fortunately effective techniques for rule engineering have been proven in practice.
I know some experts are calling for smart processes or intelligent processes these days. But if they’re not addressing business rules, they’re not really that smart. We want to enable smartbusiness, not just smart processes.
 These include platform-independent expression guidelines such as RuleSpeak (free on www.RuleSpeak.com). In our book Building Business Solutions: Business Analysis with Business Rules we explain patterns for harvesting business rules from business process models and other deliverables. We have also developed highly effective techniques for decision engineering. See our Primers (free): http://www.brsolutions.com/publications.php#primers
Tags: compliance, IBM Watson, intelligent processes, smart business, smart processes
Ronald G. Ross
Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.