These are some excerpts from a document I wrote years ago on my conception of Life Agents, a category of software agents who purpose are simply to help you live a better life without you having to spend time figuring out how to do all of this on your own. Some of the life agents may interact with you on occasion, but the primary focus is agents which are constantly running in the background, autonomously, taking care of details of your life without your intervention necessarily being required. And this is not simply to deal with specific tasks which are right in front of you in the here and know, but also (and primarily)to deal with the entire flow of your life, all of the stages of your life, from cradle to grave (and before and beyond) without your needing to plan out the acquisition and control of all of these agents.
As transitions are detected in you life fresh life agents can be automatically activated to assist you with your new stage of life.
This is not about designing one single mega-agent with ultimate AI, but rather about designing a very deep and very rich semantic data infrastructure that encompasses every facet of your life, in digital form, so that a vast swarm of personal software agents can each tackle one small bit of the many details of your life, both today and in all of its many stages.
This piece is not intended to convey all the details of what this would entail or how it would come to fruition, but simply to convey a modest hint of what could be done.
These descriptions are lifted from my lengthy article entitled “The Consumer-Centric Knowledge Web — A Vision of Consumer Applications of Software Agent Technology — Enabling Consumer-Centric Knowledge-Based Computing” written about 10 years ago (2005 and 2006.)
One of the most obvious and richest applications of software agent technology is to have software agents which have been programmed with knowledge about your career and life plans and can offer guidance along the way. The life mentors can offer advice and assistance with the many forms of planning that occur in our lives, including nutrition, health, education, housing, financial affairs, career, family, etc.
The concepts of life mentor and life agent are closely related, but the key difference is that a life mentor is more of an assistant that gives you feedback and suggestions and advice, but life agents can also simply do useful things for you that you may not even know or care about.
Put a different way, a life mentor would address tough, growth-oriented conscious decisions, whereas a life agent can also address subconscious [s.b. unconscious or beyond your consciousness] details of the consumer’s life.
Software agent technology enables a richer and deeper semantic modeling for the learning process which can provide a more robust level of support for consumers as they transition through the many stages of learning throughout their lives. Lifelong learning will become a concept recognized by software agent applications rather than a concept that is exterior to the world of computer software.