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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 10 Jul 1997 09:18:44 -0400
Shelly Tzoumas <[log in to unmask]>
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Shelly Tzoumas <[log in to unmask]>
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Louis Rosenfeld wrote:
> <much cynicism regarding "intelligent" agents deleted>
> > I don't think so.  Not so much that it couldn't be done but that its not
> > worth the effort.
> >
> > Sorry if this posting is overly cynical but I think your vision of agents is
> > an extreme example of a trend that I think is disturbing (and I don't mean
> > to pick on you. Of course lots of people share your vision of agents). The
> > trend is the same thing I was complaining about in my previous message in
> > regard to MS Word.  Adding features to software that provide little real
> > value but that take up lots of memory, processing, network bandwidth, etc.
> >
> > Michael DeBellis
> > [log in to unmask]
> I'd go one step further.  Much of the "intelligence" in the concept of
> agents that is being marketed to us really *couldn't* be done, even in ten
> years.  Certainly Artificial Intelligence isn't sufficiently advanced
> (e.g., will sophisticated voice recognition become reality, or yet another
> AI holy grail?).  But also because Information Retrieval techniques simply
> will not perform well in a broad, heterogeneous information environment
> like the Web.  If you have difficulties finding information on the Web, an
> agent won't help you that much.  Sure, it'll sift through crap faster at
> regular intervals, and may learn a thing or two about your interests, but
> an agent still won't be able to figure out what is and isn't crap.
> Intelligent agents, like VRML, push, and a lot of other neat ideas with
> limited applicability, are simply yet another Big Thing that is being
> hyped to entice the investment community.
> Louis Rosenfeld                                             [log in to unmask]
> Argus Associates, Inc.                         
> 109 Catherine Street                                   voice: +1.313.913.0010
> Ann Arbor, MI  48104  USA                                fax: +1.313.213.8082
> Founder, The Argus Clearinghouse:      
> Columnist, "Web Architect" in Web Review magazine:
I tend to agree with a lot of the discussion, however, it seems to me
that the real challenge is finding ways to use this new technology or
"Big Thing" in a manner that does add value.

Shelly Tzoumas
Magnet Interactive, Washington, DC