Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Intelligent agent vs. dumb software agent

You might ask how an "intelligent agent" is defined such that it's different from any other software agent. Unfortunately, there's no clear, consensus answer. Some people toss the label "intelligent" around as a piece of marketing hype and others prescribe specific, human-like capabilities. Sure, I have my own definition for "intelligent agent", but even it needs more work.

One of the keys to being truly intelligent is that intelligence requires the ability to learn, which is the ability to acquire knowledge and then use to use that knowledge to effect a change in behavior. But maybe that's a little bit beyond current technology.

I would say that an agent should be defined as an intelligent agent only after it can begin working at the level of goals and breaking goals into sub-goals rather than merely being programmed for specific tasks.

-- Jack Krupansky

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