Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A ‘butler’ in your mobile phone

13.06.2003


University of Southampton scientists create a computer agent that aims to make life less complicated



A new computer agent that will work through users’ mobile phones and organise their business and social schedules, has been developed by scientists at the Department of Electronics and Computer Science (ECS) at the University of Southampton.
The agent is an example of how the next generation of World Wide Web will work. An artificial intelligence programme has been devised which allows the phone agent to determine users’ preferences and to use the Web to plan business and social events such as travel itineraries and visits to restaurants and theatres, without the need to consult constantly with users to establish their requirements.

‘I see the artificial agent as a butler-type character,’ comments Professor Nick Jennings, Professor of Computer Science at ECS. ‘The first day that the “butler” comes to work, he will be very polite as he does not know much about me, but as we begin to work together, he will become better acquainted with my preferences and will make decisions without having to consult me. The degree of autonomy


I allow him is entirely up to me.’

Professor Jennings believes that this new phone agent will work well with the first third generation (3G) mobile network in the UK, which was launched recently. It will reduce the need for business travellers to carry laptop computers as they will be able to do their computing through their phone.

Professor Jennings and his team are among the country’s leading researchers in artificial intelligence and he has just been awarded the ACM Autonomous Research Award 2003, in recognition of the excellence of his research in the area of autonomous agents.

In addition, his team was voted as the most successful in the Second International Trading Agents Competition (TAC) last year, when they developed an agent that fulfilled the tasks of a travel agent, assembling travel packages for a group of eight clients over a notional five-day period.

The aim of the electronic travel agent was to act in the same way as an employee in a high street travel agency, producing the best possible holiday for the clients, on the basis of their expressed preferences for various aspects of the trip, including budgets, travel itineraries, and cultural visits. All aspects of the package had to be bought from a series of on-line auctions in which the bidders were the other competitors’ agents.

‘Here we had a scenario where artificial agents out-performed humans as they assimilated information much more quickly than any human could possibly operate,’ comments Professor Jennings. ‘The world is getting more complicated, so the more support we have with planning and taking decisions, the better we can function.’

Sarah Watts | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht Arguments, Emotions, and News distribution in social media - Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Tübingen
04.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien

nachricht High Number of Science Enthusiasts in Switzerland
05.02.2018 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>