Business Logic Cant Begin With Lies
Peter Coffee: Until we can build those more skepticalor even more speculativeenterprise applications, we'll merely drown ourselves in data that doesn't actually tell us anything we didn't already knowwhile virtually assuring theWere really good at building IT systems that remember what we told them: "If A today, then A tomorrow." Were fairly good at building systems that can combine facts according to rules: "If A and B," then C." But were terrible at building systems that will tell us, "I dont believe you when you tell me A," or systems that can tell us that "A doesnt matter unless B"let alone systems that are usefully able to ask us, "Would you like to know more about Z?" Until we can build those more skepticalor even more speculativeenterprise applications, well merely drown ourselves in data that doesnt actually tell us anything we didnt already knowwhile virtually assuring the future recurrence of fiascos like the dot-com implosion (a result of people over-analyzing numbers that were, on their face, unbelievable) or the WorldCom debacle (a result of people lying to their systems, which faithfully repeated the lies).
In his 1968 novel "Stand on Zanzibar", John Brunner envisioned what we would today call an ERP system based on high-level machine intelligence: In one crucial scene, the system refuses to make forecasts of a major projects outcome because the given data, the system asserts, are absurd. No one knows how to resolve the problem until someone with more insight asks, in effect, "What additional input would make it possible for you to believe what weve told you so far?" The answer not only enables them to go forward but also opens up promising new avenues for research into a previously unasked question.