A symposium on Interface Agents, planned for sponsors and friends of the Media Laboratory, provoked such interest that it has been moved to Kresge Auditorium and will be open to the community on a space-available basis.
Interface agents are defined as computer programs that intelligently assist their users and become increasingly aware of the needs and preferences of their users. The symposium will bring together some of those who foresaw such possibilities and representatives of research organizations and computer companies who are bringing them about.
The symposium will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, with registration and coffee at 8:30am. After a brief greeting at 9am, the morning papers will include: (9:15) "What is an Object as Agent," by Alan Key, a Fellow at Apple Computer; (9:45)"The Best Interaction is the Lack of It," by Professor Nicholas Negroponte, director of the Media Laboratory.
After a break, the morning program will conclude with: (10:45) "You Cannot Think about Thinking Unless You Think About Thinking About Something," by Seymour Papert, LEGO Professor of Learning Research at the Media Laboratory, and (11:45) "Learning Interface Agents" by Assistant Professor Pattie Maes of the Media Laboratory.
The program will resume at 1:45 with "Intelligent Agents and the Delagation Metaphor: An Apple Perspective" By Mark L. Miller, manager of applications technology at Apple Computer, followed by: (2:15) "Agents Working Together," by Irene Greif, director of workgroup technologies at Lotus Development Corporation; (2:45) "Sharing Context with Agents," by Phil Stenton, project manager of HP Labs (Bristol), and (3:15) "Agency Model as a Human Interface Architecture for the FRIEND21 Project," by Hirotada Ueda, deputy director of the FRIEND21 Research Center, Institute for Personalized Information Environment.
After a break the symposium will conclude with: (4:15) "An Agent and an Advisor: Case Studies of How to Give the User Control," by Ted Selker, research staff member at the T.J. Watson Research Center of IBM; (4:45) "Does Ubiquitous Computing Need Interface Agents?" by Mark Weiser, principal scientist and head of the Computer Science Laboratory, Xerox, PARC; (5:15) "Toward A Personal Information Butler, and Other Fables," by Meyer A. Billmers, consultant software engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation, and open discussion.
A version of this article appeared in the October 7, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 9).