KDnuggets : News : 2000 : n14 : item5    (previous | next)


From: Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro gps
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 21:57:45 -0400
Subject: Microsoft Software 'Agent' or Big Brother?

"Microsoft Sees Software 'Agent' as Way to Avoid Distractions" New York Times (07/17/00) P. C1; Markoff, John

Microsoft will soon introduce software that promises to ease the information overload of computer users. Designed by artificial-intelligence specialist Eric Horvitz, Attentional User Interface will manage and prioritize the streams of data entering into users' computers, voice mail boxes, cell phones, and handheld devices. The software will even monitor the users themselves, using a camera to tell how busy users are at any given moment or when they are away from their desks. The software, which would operate from the Internet, will decide which information is important enough to warrant an interruption of a user's time. Horvitz based the new software on the Bayesian approach, which was also used for the Paper Clip icon that gives advice to users of Microsoft Office.

Horvitz admits that their are numerous problems with the new software, not the least of which are the privacy concerns that will arise from users' personal information being kept on the Internet. Still, Microsoft believes that Attentional User Interface will attract users who want to relieve their information burden and the software will be a cornerstone for the company's new .NET initiative.

see http://www.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/07/biztech/articles/17lab.html (registration required)

KDnuggets : News : 2000 : n14 : item5    (previous | next)

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