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 New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>