Entertaining Agents: Julia

Some agents serve entertaining purposes, rather than strictly utilitiarian ones. An excellent example of such an agent is Julia, who was written by Michael Mauldin at Carnegie-Mellon University. Julia hangs around on MUDs, acting like any other character, but can also answer questions about the layout of the MUD (and many other topics), pass notes, sing songs, play Hearts, and do many other interesting things.

If you'd like to know more, Lenny Foner's What's an Agent, Anyway? A Sociological Case Study [written in 1993] made a detailed examination of her talents, and of the sociology surrounding peoples' interactions with her; it's available in HTML (with some active links), or either Postscript or PDF (either one of which will look better).

A version of the paper above also appears in The Proceedings of the First International Conference on Autonomous Agents (AA '97), and is available in Postscript or PDF. It has also been used as the basis for book chapters in Sherry Turkle's Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet and Janet Murray's Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace.

After the original version of this paper was written, back in 1993, Michael Mauldin wrote a paper about Julia for AAAI '94.

Lenny Foner
Last modified: Fri Jan 22 02:32:59 EST 1999