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AI & SOCIETY

, Volume 21, Issue 1–2, pp 141–166 | Cite as

Unplanned effects of intelligent agents on Internet use: a social informatics approach

  • Alexander SerenkoEmail author
  • Umar Ruhi
  • Mihail Cocosila
OPEN FORUM

Abstract

This paper instigates a discourse on the unplanned effects of intelligent agents in the context of their use on the Internet. By utilizing a social informatics framework as a lens of analysis, the study identifies several unanticipated consequences of using intelligent agents for information- and commerce-based tasks on the Internet. The effects include those that transpire over time at the organizational level, such as e-commerce transformation, operational encumbrance and security overload, as well as those that emerge on a cultural level, such as trust affliction, skills erosion, privacy attrition and social detachment. Furthermore, three types of impacts are identified: economic, policy, and social. The discussion contends that economic impacts occur on the organizational level, social effects transpire on a cultural level, and policy impacts take place on both levels. These effects of the use of intelligent agents have seldom been predicted and discussed by visionaries, researchers, and practitioners in the field. The knowledge of these unplanned outcomes can improve our understanding of the overall impacts that innovative agent technologies may potentially have on organizations and individuals. Subsequently, this may help us develop better agent applications, facilitate the formulation of appropriate contingencies, and provide impetus for future research.

Keywords

Internet Intelligent agents Impacts Social informatics 

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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business AdministrationLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada
  2. 2.DeGroote School of BusinessMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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