Software Agents  

by
Rick Dietrich

Intelligent Objects

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    The idea of intelligent objects may at first seem silly or even dangerous.  Their uses are staggering  to mundane.  Besides the perhaps more obvious benefits of agent software on the Internet and with computers in general, agent software in everyday objects could revolutionize the economy as well as our whole way of thinking.  Most people consider a battery a fairly mundane object at this point, but with a touch of agent software, a battery could be designed that would not only be "aware" of its own charge, chemical composition, etc., but also be capable of verbal/visual alerts and even communication with a similarly agent equiped battery charger.  While I'm not sure I fully understand this, another example is that of "the programmable brick:  a prototype toy building block with embedded computational power.  The concept is that with programmable bricks, children can learn ideas that were previously taught in engineering courses at the college level." (Chorafas, p.10)  The purpose of the intelligent object would be to make automatic what was once mechanical and requiring of human attention.  Furthermore, taking advantage of the wonderful capacity for simulation that computers have, the automation of ordinary objects can perhaps make our use of them safer, as the objects themselves are aware, if only in a virtual sense, of what is being done with them and can be programmed for emergency or misuse situations.

For a greater look at intelligent objects, check out this Alta Vista search for intelligent objects.  Not all links will be worthwhile, but some are definitely worth investigating.

 

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This project was produced for PSY 380, Social Psychology of Cyberspace, Spring, 1998, at Miami University.
This document was created April 19, 1998 and last modified on  .  This document has been accessed  times since April 15, 2002.   Please send comments and suggestions to shermarc@miamioh.edu