There are even services available such as "Go To" (www.overture.com) that will permit web site owners to purchase "positions" in search engine results ("Intelligent Agents," 2001).
Problem Resolution via Intelligent Agents
In spite of the best intentions of the Internet, it has become populated with misleading references, broken links, and typically, far too many hits on most user queries (Millman, 1998). Consequently, the "experience" for most users doing a query can be described as somewhat frustrating. How does one efficiently sift through all of this information?
Through the continued development and improvement of intelligent agents, it is likely that the above dilemma faced by most Internet users will be either eliminated or at the least reduced. Agents may be classified in the following manner (Millman, 1998):
Retrievers—This type of agent is also called a "pull agent." These are "keyword" driven programs that are typically dispatched by the end user and programmed to seek out and return specific information.
Watchers—This type of agent is called a "push agent" since it "watches" for a specialized event and notifies the user.
Helpers—This type of agent is simplistic and is used in computer maintenance and diagnostic applications. As such it is intended to reduce the level of human involvement.
Shoppers—This type of agent "learns" user preferences and then searches the Web to link interested buyers with sellers.