intelligent agent

On the Internet, an intelligent agent (or simply an agent) is a program that gathers information or performs some other service without your immediate presence and on some regular schedule.

On the Internet, an intelligent agent (or simply an agent) is a program that gathers information or performs some other service without your immediate presence and on some regular schedule. Typically, an agent program, using parameters you have provided, searches all or some part of the Internet, gathers information you're interested in, and presents it to you on a daily or other periodic basis. An agent is sometimes called a bot (short for robot).

Other agents have been developed that personalize information on a Web site based on registration information and usage analysis. Other types of agents include specific site watchers that tell you when the site has been updated or look for other events and analyst agents that not only gather but organize and interpret information for you.

The practice or technology of having information brought to you by an agent is sometimes referred to as push technology.

This was first published in April 2005

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