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Full Version: A couple of Agent questions and related tangents
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Emperor Tippy
First, just how "intelligent" and adaptable are agents?

Next, can you use Agents in tandem for automated tasks. I was thinking about setting up a system that trolls the matrix for data. The agents grab all public data that they can find on the Matrix, from mainstream news to 1 viewer blogs. Then they index, cross reference, and search this data for various trends and data. No real purpose to this search, just seeing what turns up.

Add in any data I manage to grab from runs or contacts as well.

And capture peoples biometric data as well. Just have your cybereyes/contacts continuously recording as you go about your business and have your com link grab any info that is being broadcast. Keep a high level agent on your com thats coordinating all of this. And add it to the database.

Remember, the vast majority of people leave the RFID tags on their stuff. And many companies use the tags for security/identification. A lot of people also have ones on their stuff encase it gets lost.

Grab it all and index and cross reference it. Add in a cyber scanner too. So you know who has what wear, and weapons.

The whole idea of all of this is to build a large database of random facts that are cross referenced and analyzed to show interesting trends and other info. So when you want to know who will benefit from you hitting X corp for instance you can ask the database and it gives you likely matches.

The biometic info is for a few reasons, 1 because it gives you a vast database to make disguises off of. And if the people have comlinks/RFID tags with identifying info on them you can link those faces to identities. And what if they have crome that you want/need? Or weapons.

So how good are agents.
Emperor Tippy
So any comments/opinions before I head off to bed?
If folks have ever seen NCIS, the latest episode had a cool part with an Agent program. The Agent program (from CIA) searched the web for certain search patterns, and then traced it back to the home computer. (The firewall stopped it, but because they were short on time, they had to switch computers and start a new search at a different angle otherwise the Agent would have followed). And the show is based on today, SO I figure that Agents 60 years from now must be pretty dang decent.

As for your other stuff, I figure that yeah, alot of folks do keep recordings going and cross reference it all, selling useful info or keeping it for their own ends. I also think that alot of people deliberately don't, so that they don't get a black opps team (or another group of Shadowrunners) coming for them in the night one day, when the bad men find out what they've been up to.

One of my characters (and one of my player's character) does have an Agent program that just runs browse programs all day. It's kinda like his own little Blogger contact. smile.gif (Not as useful because it doesn't have contacts, but still a great way to introduce plot material).
Agents rating 1-3 are much cheaper than those rating 4-6, so that implies to me that that rating 4 is the cutoff for smart agents. I have a rating 3 agent running on my PAN that is relatively dumb and is basically just my secretary, librarian, and security guard. I have a 20000 nuyen set of clothes that has just about every sensor you can buy woven into the fabric and my agent organizes all the data and informs me of anything unusual or important.

For example, my agent will tell me when someone is behind me, wakes me up if someone comes close to me, tells me what cyber and equipment everyone around me has, tells me when someone is trying to hack my commlink, automatically spoofs my datatrail, and screens my calls for me as a cute virtual receptionist.

My agent also automatically encrypts everything and puts a Data Bomb on my database in case I get jacked. I don't want to hand a huge database of incriminating evidence to anyone. wink.gif

But if I want my agent to automatically give me threat-assessments and teamwork bonuses to tactical situations, or impersonate me on the vidphone, I'd have to get a rating 4 agent or better. For example, if I tell my rating 3 agent that I don't want to be disturbed while I sleep and my fixer calls me up and tells my agent "they're on to you, you better get out of town now!", my rating 3 agent would send the message to voice mail, but a rating 4 agent or better would be smart enough to interpret the message and decide to inform me anyways even though I told it not to.
The show (NCIS) is based on today, SO I figure that Agents 60 years from now must be pretty dang decent.

I always considered NCIS, CSI, and the ilk as Science Fiction, that happens to be set in the present day. The way they do computer searches in CSI, grab/redirect satellite data, and so forth (not to mention the ease with which they interface stuff in NCIS) all scream sci-fi to me.

Don't get me wrong -- I love NCIS (and not just because hacker/mechanic chick is hot ;)). They're a well-oiled team (not like that!) of people of overlapping skills, operating to solve problems in politically sensitive environs. Sounds like a shadow running team, minus the shady johnsons and other stuff. ;) I just wouldn't assume that "I saw it on NCIS/CSI" means "This is current technology". If anything, the legwork done in shows like law and order or without a trace have more bearing than the science/lab-work/computer hacker in ther former.

Sorry for the hijack. ;)

All that aside, Buster's analysis of the rating 3 vs rating 4 seems like an interesting point.
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