Software Agents in Academia and Industry

Yoav Shoham, Stanford Computer Science and Interval Research

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University January 13, 1995


In 1989 I coined the term Agent Oriented Programming to denote a novel approach to the design of distributed software. In the period since then, terms such as 'software agents,' 'softbots,' and 'knowledge robots' (or 'knobots'), sometimes coupled with the adjective 'intelligent,' have gained much currency. In addition to continuing my own research, in the past two years I have spent some time understanding the various agent-related activities in academia and industry. In the seminar I plan to share my current understanding and conclusions.


Yoav Shoham received his PhD in Computer Science from Yale University in 1987, and is now an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department of Stanford University. His past work was devoted largely to formalizing commonsense notions such as time, action, causation, and mental attitudes such as knowledge and belief. His interests today lie in ascribing mental qualities to machines, and in applying the notions of social laws and conventions in computational settings. In particular, in 1989 Shoham coined the term Agent Oriented Programming, and has been trying to understand it ever since.


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