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intelligent agent

Programs, used extensively on the Web, that perform tasks such as retrieving and delivering information and automating repetitive tasks. More than 50 companies are currently developing intelligent agent software or services, including Firefly and WiseWire.

Agents are designed to make computing easier. Currently they are used as Web browsers, news retrieval mechanisms, and shopping assistants. By specifying certain parameters, agents will "search" the Internet and return the results directly back to your PC.

Push technology relies on agents to deliver pre-selected information to your desktop. Some intelligent agents are also used as tools to track Web behavior: they can even "watch" as your surf the Net and record how often you visit certain sites. Later, they can be used to automatically download your favorite sites, let you know when your favorite site has been updated, and even tailor specific pages to suit your tastes.

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