An intelligent agent is a type of software application that searches, retrieves and presents information from the Internet. This application automates the process of extracting data from the Internet, such as information selected based on a predefined criterion, keywords or any specified information/entity to be searched. Intelligent agents are often used as Web browsers, news retrieval services and online shopping.
An intelligent agent may also be called an agent or bot.
An intelligent agent is primarily used to complement data retrieval tasks, which are traditionally performed manually by humans. Typically, an intelligent agent executes automatically on scheduled time or when manually initiated by the user. It then searches the entire Internet or on user-defined websites to work on the primary search query/request. When a relevancy or match is found, the intelligent agent copies, extracts or lists that data. The collected data is then presented in a raw or report-based format to the user.
Some advanced-level intelligent agent utilities use artificial intelligence based data inference matching and retrieval techniques, which allows them to collect higher quality and more relevant data.
Popular forms of intelligent agents include shopping agents/bots, news feed/alert agents and Web crawlers.