Touching hands
1.1A Thesis continued...

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Mid 1996, the author graduated on his end thesis about "Intelligent Software Agents on the Internet". Since that time, a lot of things have happened, both in the field of Software Agents as on the Internet.
Updating the thesis seemed a good idea, especially as in the time that had passed since then, a lot of other (strongly) related and exciting developments had come to the author's attention. All these things added together formed a big enough incentive to start writing a follow-up to the end thesis.

The subject of this paper differs in one important aspect from the agent thesis; where the primary subject of this thesis were intelligent software agents on the Internet, this time a broader approach has been taken. The main topic of this paper is the Online Market Place for information and services (in which agents will play a role, but they will not be the only actors).
After more general, and near-future lines of developments have been looked at, we will focus on two developments in particular: (Intelligent) Software Agents, and the concepts of Ubiquitous Computing and Calm Technology. The author is convinced that these concepts are bound to play an important role in the online market place.

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Chapter 1 - Preamble "Desperately Seeking: Helping Hands and Human Touch" -
by Björn Hermans