What Would It Take to Have a Personal Assistant who Fit into Your World?

Beth Adelson and Mike Redmond

In the AlterEgo project computer scientists, cognitive scientists, psychologists and engineers are working to build an intelligent wireless information management environment which can deal with changing connectivity, multiple integrated devices, and multiple information sources. The work described here argues for the utility of a rich representation of the user’s world as part of an intelligent environment, one which includes information about projects and people, their interrelationships and the nature of their importance to the user. We present one of the problems we are solving in the context of AlterEgo development, how to prioritize large numbers of messages with different levels and sorts of importance for users who have only a small window of time for reading email. Looking at this problem allows us to describe the representations and reasoning we are building in to the system.

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