Cognitive Assistant to Help Busy Managers

This is just the first step down a slope that will end with most workers being replaced by robots or software agents.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science (SCS) have received an initial $7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) as part of a five-year project to develop a software-based cognitive personal assistant that will help people improve their productivity in the workplace.

The new technology will be equally valuable to managers in industry, academia, government and the military.

The project, nicknamed "RADAR" for Reflective Agents with Distributed Adaptive Reasoning, will help its human master with tasks like scheduling meetings, allocating resources, creating coherent reports from snippets of information, and managing email by grouping related messages, flagging high priority requests and automatically proposing answers to routine messages.

It sounds great, but I thing we still have a while before something like that is as useful as a real personal assistant.

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