Intelligent agents, markets and competition: Consumers' interests and functionality of destination sites

Kees Jonkheer

Abstract


Intelligent agents are first and foremost tools which can be applied in numerous and different ways. However, Intelligent agents, in the true sense of attributed functions such as autonomy and pro-activity, do not yet exist. There are agent-like applications like Web crawlers and search engines which sometimes include collaborative filtering; in spite of these advances a software entity that combines all of these functions into an intelligent agent has yet to be developed. Still, it is only a matter of time when intelligent agents will play a decisive role in the electronic marketplace and therefore in competition. This paper explores the boundaries of what might happen in markets when intelligent agents are introduced and used by market participants. It discusses existing commercial agent-like applications and treats models on how different functions of agents could affect different market stages. Two types of markets - travel and bookselling - are examined, focusing on consumers' interests and the functionality of destination sites.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5210/fm.v4i6.675



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