"Data made available to research groups investigating everything from cancer clusters to the risk of living near to hazardous waste sites is often restricted, altered or aggregated in order to protect the identity of individual patients.
But researchers say that these measures often make it impossible for them to carry out accurate geographical analyses of public health concerns, and may even result in misleading information being used in healthcare decisions.
They suggest that new technology which uses software "agents" to explore data could provide healthcare professionals with more accurate and meaningful information without risking patients' identities being revealed."
First Monday Intelligent Agents, Markets and Competition: Consumers' Interests and Functionality of Destination Sites
"Intelligent agents are first and foremost tools which can be applied in numerous and different ways. However, Intelligent agents, in the true sense of attributed functions such as autonomy and pro-activity, do not yet exist. There are agent-like applications like Web crawlers and search engines which sometimes include collaborative filtering; in spite of these advances a software entity that combines all of these functions into an intelligent agent has yet to be developed. Still, it is only a matter of time when intelligent agents will play a decisive role in the electronic marketplace and therefore in competition. This paper explores the boundaries of what might happen in markets when intelligent agents are introduced and used by market participants. It discusses existing commercial agent-like applications and treats models on how different functions of agents could affect different market stages. Two types of markets - travel and bookselling - are examined, focusing on consumers' interests and the functionality of destination sites."Nature: Web Matters Is There an Intelligent Agent in Your Future?
"The vision of such intelligent agents is quite compelling and many people now believe they will be necessary if we are ever to tame the increasing complexities caused by the accelerating and virtually uncontrolled growth of the World Wide Web."
"The most basic need in interacting with an agent is a language in which to communicate. While it is possible to 'fake' these semantics (with the program reacting appropriately to keywords, for example), an agent that is truly useful must have a lot of knowledge about the problem being solved. If the travel agent doesn't know about geography (Where is the Caribbean?), transportation (What airlines go there?), lodging (Is that a good hotel?), economics (Can I afford to stay there?), etc. then we cannot easily communicate our needs. If the internet agent doesn't understand the area in which it must work (molecular biology, particle physics, etc.), it is not able to find appropriate resources any better than current keyword based approaches."British Telecommunications Laboratories A Perspective on Software Agents Research
""This paper sets out, ambitiously, to present a brief reappraisal of software agents research. Evidently, software agent technology has promised much. However some five years after the word ?agent? came into vogue in the popular computing press, it is perhaps time the efforts in this fledgling area are thoroughly evaluated with a view to refocusing future efforts. We do not pretend to have done this in this paper - but we hope we have sown the first seeds towards a thorough first 5-year report of the software agents area. The paper contains some strong views not necessarily widely accepted by the agent community.""
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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