Predicting how agents will develop into the future is not an easy task at all. Not only because the agent-technique is still in its early years, but also because most of the factors and parties that are involved in the developments around it influence each other mutually. This makes it quite impossible to predict now how the state of affairs will be over - say - five years, and how the "environment" (e.g. users,
suppliers, Internet, computer technology) will have responded to the agent-technique and many other developments (including
The ultimate test of agent's success will be the acceptance and (mass) usage of them by users. The road to this success is most likely to be laid by developers and suppliers. Apart from them, it may be expected that many commercial companies and organisations will join in on this as well, as there are many interesting opportunities for them. Agents will enable all to offer personalised and "smart" services, delivered around the clock and (probably) at low(er) prices.
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