News
News
4/24/2002
03:28 PM
50%
50%

Think They'll Start Spelling It Supply 'ChAIn'?

Software makers are rushing to imbue supply-chain-management tools with artificial intelligence.

Software makers such as IBM, i2 Technologies, Manugistics, and SAP are rushing to imbue supply-chain-management tools with artificial intelligence, allowing them to make better choices and even learn from mistakes.

Supply-chain-management programs are structured sort of like flow charts, following a make-and-sell model of supply and demand. Software that IBM Labs is building works more like bees in a hive, with lots of autonomous agents going out into the world collecting data. The result, says Grace Lin, a senior manager at IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center, is a system that can more easily consider new sources of information. These "sense and respond" systems make their own decisions based upon the variables at hand and aren't strictly confined to a set of rules.

IBM's effort essentially gives the program artificial intelligence, so it compares current business conditions to historical ones and forecasts what's likely to happen next. "It doesn't just react, but anticipates," Lin says. And based on what actually does occur, the program can compare its forecast against reality, learning if it made a mistake. Lin says she expects a finished prototype later this year and a commercial version within five years.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of June 21, 2015.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.