Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Intelligent Agents

And the Future of Data Mining

An intelligent agent is: (1) a software agent if it is a piece of software that acts in a relationship of agency for a user or other program; or (2) an intelligence actor if it interacts with its environment. The first definition refers mostly to data mining, while the later refers to a robot like machine.

Although in the science and technology communities we tend to separate both definitions of intelligence agent, the advances in computer processors are bringing both environments closer to one another. I imagine the integration of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) device like GE Centricity, and healthcare specific data mining algorithms using Microsoft SQL 2005 Analysis Services into a machine learning hardware that will assist physicians and other healthcare providers in real-time improving and measuring of clinical outcomes.

This type of technology could also be applicable to PDA’s and trading in the financial markets, or the purchasing goods and services (brick and mortar or thru the Internet), or in the decision-making process of what food to buy or movie to watch. The technological challenges will be correlated by the advances in technology by companies like Intel and Motorola in designing smaller, faster, and with greater storage capacity. Other challenges involve data network security and privacy issues which affect consumers. These challenges are great, but without any doubts the framework to integrate intelligent mobile agents and data mining is already in place.

Strategic alliances in the technology industry are no longer limited to the industrialized countries, but are a worldwide phenomenon. They are not in the realm of the large technology companies either. I would not predict who, when, or what industries and what companies will benefit from the merger of both technologies. I do predict that we should see the first fruits of the merger of both technologies in the next eighteen to twenty four months.

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