Electric Elves: Agent Technology for Supporting Human Organizations
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA MARINA DEL REY INFORMATION SCIENCES INST
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The operation of a human organization requires dozens of everyday tasks to ensure coherence in organizational activities, to monitor the status of such activities, to gather information relevant to the organization, to keep everyone in the organization informed, etc. Teams of software agents can aid humans in accomplishing these tasks, facilitating the organizations coherent functioning and rapid response to crises, while reducing the burden on humans. Based on this vision, this paper reports on Electric Elves, a system that has been operational, 247, at our research institute since June 1, 2000. Tied to individual user workstations, fax machines, voice, mobile devices such as cell phones and palm pilots, Electric Elves has assisted us in routine tasks, such as rescheduling meetings, selecting presenters for research meetings, tracking peoples locations, organizing lunch meetings, etc. We discuss the underlying AI technologies that led to the success of Electric Elves, including technologies devoted to agent-human interactions, agent coordination, accessing multiple heterogeneous information sources, dynamic assignment of organizational tasks, and deriving information about organization members. We also report the results of deploying Electric Elves in our own research organization.
- Administration and Management