[This is a brand new section, so please excuse the fact that it hasn't been fleshed out out. -- 1/12/04]
By Jack Krupansky
This page is intended to convey a sense kinds of dramatic benefits that software agent technology can provide.
Of course, agents, like any technology will provide "the usual suspects" of benefits:
Now that we've gotten the boring stuff out of the way, here are some reasons why software agent technology is really important.
When under extreme stress, people, organizations, and even computer systems, can quickly fail to take care of everyday tasks that will snowball into problems if manual intervention is not quickly restored. For a person, this might be an illness, death in the family, relationship problem, job problem, etc. Failing to take care of "little" things like paying bills or not giving appropriate attention to children or subordinates are critical tasks which everybody takes for granted and normally these tasks are accomplished with no apparent need for sophisticated computer automation as can be provided with software agent technology. So, it's not a question of whether agents are required at all times, but whether there may be critical times when it will be "too late" to implement an ad hoc solution.
Software agents provide a much more appropriate metaphor for exploiting the parallelism and dynamics of large-scale computer networks. Asynchronous or autonomous operation is natural for independent software agents, as opposed to the clumsiness of synchronized procedure calls (even if object-oriented) between networked computers.
Software agents are the ideal metaphor for exploiting the potential of distributed computing
Software agents are the ideal metaphor for modeling and implementing complex adaptive systems (CAS), especially since the agent metaphor itself was influenced by CAS modeling.
One of the intriguing applications of software agent technology is to provide individuals, families, groups, organizations, businesses, and government entities with assistance across the entire life of the entity. I call them "life agents". An individual or group has goals which can vary over time but otherwise be relevant for extended periods of time, years, even decades. Examples include financial and retirement planning, medical records and monitoring, education planning/support, career planning/training/support, nutrition and health, or anything in life where there is a goal which is not met simply in the near term.
Life agents are software agents that are initiated and run in the "background" and either directly or indirectly act on the client's behalf, offer guidance either automatically or on request, but keep track of progress and events over extended periods of time.
The real point of a life agent is that real people and real organizations are simply too busy and distracted by daily life to continually and consistently plan and monitor issues which may have lead (and lag) times of months, years, even decades.
For more on Life Agents, click here.
Updated: November 11, 2005 12:46:55 PM -0500
Copyright © 2005 John W. Krupansky d/b/a Base Technology