Intelligent Agents & E-Commerce
The internet has experienced a rapid shift from information and entertainment to electronic commerce. The amount of information available on the web, as well as the number of e-businesses and web shoppers, has been growing exponentially and the influx is difficult to process. A major challenge for marketspace participants has become sifting through an unwieldy amount of information to find products, services, and even each other – often relegating e-commerce a hit or miss experience. Intelligent agents are a major evolution toward solving this difficult problem. Intelligent agents empower both buyers and sellers to accomplish e-commerce transactions by enabling efficient, precise, and comprehensive searches on the vast web community and information repository. Because of user simplicity and thoroughness, intelligent agents enhance user experience and satisfaction. By operating in the background in lieu of user intervention, intelligent agents also circumvent problems related to slow internet access and free up prohibitively expensive “surf” and data mining time. The technology has evolved and the internet has matured to a point where sophisticated new generation intelligent agents proliferate. This page examines intelligent agents and their use by buyers and sellers in the e-commerce marketspace. What is an intelligent agent?
Intelligent agents are software applications that have a predefined knowledge base and/or learning system about their user's goals and wishes and, through adaptive reasoning, use this information to execute their user's request. The concept has been around for many decades, ranging in functionality from a simple macro with prescriptive directions to new generation software that truly exhibits learning and artificial intelligence. The continuum of intelligent agents may be characterized along three dimensions: agency, intelligence, and mobility. Agents typically act independently of the...
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