human computer interaction
natural computing
overview how it works future applications for researchers

Imagine that you could hire the exclusive services of an agent to run errands for you throughout the Internet. The agent would scurry to distant Web sites to pick up information that you need, keep going back to monitor sites whose content changes frequently, consult with other agents to work out the best times for meetings with your colleagues, and even make bids on your behalf in Internet auctions. It would be a perfect cyber-servant that would permit you to devote your own time to other tasks.

Researchers at IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory have done more than imagine Internet agents -- they have actually created them. Named aglets, they are programmed to leave their owner's computer on request, roam the Internet, and visit other computers, where they perform specific tasks such as collecting data and interacting with other agents.

Find out how it works